RESEARCHERS EAVESDROPPED ON MOUSE ARGUMENTS
What did they do?
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison listened in on the coos, chirps and barks between couples of California mice before and after one of them had been taken away to be ‘unfaithful’ by mating with another mouse. In the wild, California mice that have bonded with a partner stay together for life or until one of them dies.
What did they find?
All of the mice began barking aggressively when first reunited, but some quickly returned to the softer style of communication seen before the separation. Furthermore, the more aggressive couples were less likely to produce offspring, and when they did the males were less attentive to the pups.
Why did they do that?
The team wanted to investigate if the way that the mice communicate reflects how they bond and form relationships.