Many species of birds and other vertebrates form pair bonds and mate with just one other individual for much of their lives. But the unions don’t always work out. Scientists want to know the underlying factors.
Leiden University’s Carel ten Cate tracked down 34-year-old duck recordings—and the man who made them—to verify that musk ducks are capable of vocal learning, an ability that hadn’t been thought to exist in waterfowl.
A detailed analysis of cryptochrome 4 shows that the protein is highly sensitive to magnetic fields in vitro, but some researchers dispute the authors’ assertion that the findings could help explain avian magnetoreception.