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Great bowerbirds create theaters with forced perspective when seen by their audience

Endler, John A., Endler, Lorna C. and Doerr, Natalie R. 2010, Great bowerbirds create theaters with forced perspective when seen by their audience, Current biology, vol. 20, no. 18, pp. 1679-1684, doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.08.033.

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Title Great bowerbirds create theaters with forced perspective when seen by their audience
Author(s) Endler, John A.ORCID iD for Endler, John A. orcid.org/0000-0002-7557-7627
Endler, Lorna C.
Doerr, Natalie R.
Journal name Current biology
Volume number 20
Issue number 18
Start page 1679
End page 1684
Total pages 6
Publisher Cell Press
Place of publication Cambridge, Mass.
Publication date 2010-09-28
ISSN 0960-9822
1879-0445
Summary Birds in the infraorder Corvida [1] (ravens, jays, bowerbirds) are renowned for their cognitive abilities [2–4], which include advanced problem solving with spatial inference [4–8], tool use and complex constructions [7–10], and bowerbird cognitive ability is associated with mating success [11]. Great bowerbird males construct bowers with a long avenue from within which females view the male displaying over his bower court [10]. This predictable audience viewpoint is a prerequisite for forced (altered) visual perspective [12–14]. Males make courts with gray and white objects that increase in size with distance from the avenue entrance. This gradient creates forced visual perspective for the audience; court object visual angles subtended on the female viewer’s eye are more uniform than if the objects were placed at random. Forced perspective can yield false perception of size and distance [12, 15]. After experimental reversal of their size-distance gradient, males recovered their gradients within 3 days, and there was little difference from the original after 2 wks. Variation among males in their forced-perspective quality as seen by their female audience indicates that visual perspective is available for use in mate choice, perhaps as an indicator of cognitive ability. Regardless of function, the creation and maintenance of forced visual perspective is clearly important to great bowerbirds and suggests the possibility of a previously unknown dimension of bird cognition.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2010.08.033
Field of Research 060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2010
Copyright notice ©2010, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30033283

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.