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Title: Mimicry
Contributor(s): Kaplan, Gisela (author)
Publication Date: 2004
DOI: 10.1336/0313327459
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Abstract: Australian birds in particular have a propensity to mimic other sounds. In his book Bird 'Wonders of Australia' (1948) Alec Chisholm noted that more than 50 Australian bird species can mimic, and at least half of his claims have since been confirmed, including the well-known case of lyrebirds ('Menura' sp.) but also the Australian magpie ('Gymnorhina tibicen'). During the breeding season, the male superb lyrebird ('Menura novaehollandiae') uses many mimicked features in his song. He will typically incorporate birdcalls of a variety of species, but may also include sounds of other animals or even of inanimate objects. Once a sound has been adopted, that sound will take a firm (and unchanged) place in his song, and every sound will make the chain of sounds longer, but the elements of it stay in the same position. Both in structure and function, the song is meant to win the favours of a female. Hence, mimicry has a specific function in this case.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, v.2, p. 772-774
Publisher: Greenwood Press
Place of Publication: Westport, USA
ISBN: 0313327475
Field of Research (FOR): 060801 Animal Behaviour
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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