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Behavioural ecology

Winged warnings

Alarm signals emitted by animals may not be all that they seem. But a good example has been identified in the whistling sound of a crested pigeon's wings when it takes flight in response to a predator.

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Figure 1: Ambiguous signal.



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Flight sounds made by the crested pigeon Ocyphaps lophotes: first, routine flight; second, alarmed flight. Recording by Mae Hingee. (WAV 406 kb)

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Ruxton, G. Winged warnings. Nature 461, 603–604 (2009).

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