In Australia, Superb Lyrebirds Combine Vocal Mimicry With Complex Dance Steps

March 2, 2015
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Dr. Anastasia Dalziell shares her research on Australia’s Superb Lyrebird, a bird famous for the male’s remarkable ability to mimic a wide variety of sounds, from the songs of other bird species to chainsaws, camera shutters, car alarms, and more. Recent work reveals that this vocal mimicry is even more spectacular and bizarre than previously thought, with males also coordinating their songs with elaborate “dance moves” on carefully constructed dance platforms to attract a mate. Female lyrebirds have unexpectedly complex displays as well. Watch this archived seminar to delve into new research and previously undescribed behavior in this fascinating species.

The talk took place on March 2, 2015. It was part of the Cornell Lab’s long-running Monday Night Seminar series, a tradition established decades ago by Lab founder Dr. Arthur Allen. If you enjoyed this seminar, check this page for our list of future speakers—we’ll note which upcoming talks will be livestreamed—or come visit usin person!

See our index of archived livestreamed seminars to enjoy more talks from the Cornell Lab.