DOI：10.1126/science.aad7481 作者：Karl Gruber
摘要 : 鸟类夫妻之间也吵架。一项新研究发现，如果一对斑胸草雀(Taeniopygia guttata)中的一方没有尽到做父母的责任，另一方就会大发牢骚。这个物种终身结对，雄鸟和雌鸟会分担育儿责任的每一步，从筑巢到守卵到护雏。
鸟类夫妻之间也吵架。一项新研究发现，如果一对斑胸草雀(Taeniopygia guttata)中的一方没有尽到做父母的责任，另一方就会大发牢骚。这个物种终身结对，雄鸟和雌鸟会分担育儿责任的每一步，从筑巢到守卵到护雏。孵蛋的时候，它们轮换进行，非常严格。雄鸟和雌鸟蹲孵的时间完全一样，一方蹲孵的时候，另一方就外出觅食。为了了解这些鸟儿是否会通过叫声的交流而“讨论”它们做父母的责任，研究人员监测了在同一个大鸟舍中育儿的12对斑胸草雀的行为。他们把每一对外出觅食的雄雀抓住，让它们归巢的时间从通常的30分钟延迟到1小时。拍摄的视频 显示了雄雀准时返回时的情形：这对夫妻进行正常的声音交流。但是当雄雀晚归，这对鸟儿的声音交流便加速，雄鸟和雌鸟之间都比平常更快速地互相叫唤，研究团队在本月的《林奈学会生物学杂志》上报告说。研究人员还发现，雌雀离巢的时间长短并不取决于前面雄雀迟到多久，而在于雄雀回来后花了多少时间“争吵”。如果迟到的雄鸟只叫了几声(少于40声)，那么雌鸟会出门20到60分钟之间，具体取决于雄鸟晚了多久。但是，如果晚归的雄鸟叫唤频繁(多于 40声)，则雌鸟会在30分钟内觅食归来。这表明这对鸟儿并不是在针锋相对地争吵，而是在商量，论文作者说。如果雄鸟有一个好的晚归借口，那么雌鸟就会以准时结束觅食回巢相回应。
Even bird spouses argue. A new study finds that zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) squawk it out if one partner is not fulfilling its parental duties. The species forms life-long pairs, wher both males and females share childcare responsibilities every step of the way, from nest building to watching over eggs and chicks. When it comes to incubating their eggs, they are very strict on their shifts. Both males and females spend equal amount of time sitting on their eggs, and while one is sitting on their eggs the other goes foraging. To find out whether these birds actually engaged in vocal exchanges to “discuss” their parental duties, researchers monitored the behavior of 12 male-female pairs breeding in a large aviary. For each pair, they trapped the male while he was foraging, delaying his arrival back at the nest by 1 hour, instead of the usual 30 minutes. The video above shows what happens when the male returns on time; the partners engage in a normal vocal exchange. But when the male returns late, the pair has an accelerated vocal exchange, with both male and female alternating their calls more rapidly than usual, the team reports this month in Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. The researchers also found that the time the female spent away from the nest did not depend so much on how late her mate was in the previous shift, but rather on how much time he spent vocalizing when he came back. If the late-arriving male called only a few times (< 40 calls) then the female went off for anything between 20 to 60 minutes, depending on how late the male was. But if the delayed male called extensively (> 40 calls) the female was back from her foraging break in under 30 minutes. This shows that the birds don't just use a tit-for-tat strategy, but instead they talk about it, the authors say, and when the male has a good excuse for its tardiness the female responds by getting back from her foraging shift on time.
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