The Spectacular Courtship Dance of a Tiny Bird

Scientists discover that female golden-collared manakins select mates based on dance moves.

SHARE

In earlier research, Fusani conducted high-speed filming of male golden-collared manakins and performed a computer analysis that showed that each male has a unique dance, somewhat similar to how each gymnast performs differently from the others.

Schlinger has studied golden-collared manakins for 16 years because he "was so impressed with their fantastic behavior.

"Here is a very small, 17-gram bird that is living 14 years in the rain forest, telling everybody where they are," Schlinger said. "They are there year after year."

Female golden-collared manakins have a larger visual processing area in the brain than males, Schlinger's previous research has shown, suggesting that females have a fast visual processing speed that enables them to detect slight differences in the male's courtship dance.

---

 Follow U.S. News Science on Twitter.