Indicator birds and honey hunters communicate in different dialects

Indicatoridae is a family of birds that includes some species that are known to be flocked to by other animals hives and “show” where the honey is. Often, in fact, these individual birds work together with Honey eaterbut their closest allies are beings people, honey hunters. However, according to a new study, honey foragers and indicator birds have even taken up residence different ways of communication depending on the locations in which they are located. The real forms of local dialects that emerge from the results of a study recently published on Science.

In this collaboration I role there are two: bird does since guide toward the hive, while man he throws it out to take Valentine. However, they both profit from it because they share the spoils. L‘main indicator (Indicator indicator), for example, communicates its presence by broadcasting call back as it flies, aware of the fact that one has easy access to the hives. Through sound signals and directional flights, the bird is an indicator guide honey seekers deftly get into the hives to share the spoils with them: the male collects the honey and then leaves here it was which they feed on.

A collaboration between this wild bird and some honey seekers population of East Africa, established since time immemorial, is well known to researchers. However, recently a team of experts made up of ethologists and anthropologists found that communication between honey hunters and these bird gifts variation significant based different location where does it happen.

Indicator indicator. Photo from WIkimedia COMmons

The bond these birds have formed with man can be understood as a kind of bond coevolution genetically inherited from the main indicator. On the contrary, communication instead, the vocal is developed culturally with different dialect forms and therefore has no genetic basis. For example, when i Hadza hunter-gatherers from Tanzania they want to call the bird indicator, they issue a melodious whistle specifically, eliciting a collaborative response three times more intense than that obtained by researchers from other strains using different vocalizations.

The Yao of Mozambiquehowever, call the local larger birds that issue a distinctive trill which involves the vibration of the tongue on the palate followed by a guttural sound. These sounds attract the attention of birds at least twice as effectively as the calls of searchers from other areas.

The “dialect” variation in vocalizations they come culturally passed down for centuries, if not millennia, among honey seekers from different ethnic groups. This is a process that can be compared to the birth of different dialects that arise in different regions of the country. These differences are the result adaptation affected over time by both hunting tactics and the surrounding environment. Taking the melodic flute as an example Hadzait has a sound very similar to the sound made by a bird and is intended to do so do not arouse suspicion among other wild animals.

Instead, it implements a completely opposite tactic Yao of Mozambique, who, to call their indicator birds, emit a sound with a distinctly human timbre. This is for detect their presence even on large animals, such as elephants and buffaloes, not at all rare in this area. The idea is to pre-emptively warn them, avoid sudden encounters in the bush and thus reduce the risk of unpredictable reactions, such as the onslaught of these animals.

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