Sing – Sing a Song
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People go to the gym to stay in shape. Songbirds, meanwhile, sing their hearts out to stay fit, according to Cosmos magazine.
That’s because singing is an important facet of a songbird’s life, helping them attract potential mates, protect their territory and maintain social bonds.
Now, in a new study, a research team discovered that male birds work out their vocal muscles in the same way that an athlete exercises to build their muscles.
They analyzed the recordings of male zebra finches singing before and after vocal exercises. When female finches heard these recordings, they easily spotted which male stayed fit and which one skipped training days.
The findings also showed that the vocal muscles became weaker and slower in avians that didn’t use their voice boxes at all – the muscles would become 50 percent weaker after seven days, even when only singing was cut out.
“Our results now show that if they don’t exercise every day, their muscle performance decreases,” said co-author Coen Elemans. “On top of that, the lack of exercise is audible in their song and the females prefer songs from exercised males.”
The researchers noted that the study helps explain why songbirds keep singing every day – even when there is no reason to do so.
It’s likely they are just trying to “beef up.”