Female Frogs Favor Mates Who Multitask

Scientists conclude so after listening to mating calls

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 17, 2013 9:26 AM CDT

(Newser) – Researchers listening to the mating calls of frogs over and over think they've stumbled across a lesson that can be applied to humans: Females prefer multitasking males. The University of Minnesota study reached that conclusion by breaking down the calls of a species of gray treefrog, reports Nature World News. Researchers discovered that male frogs who manage the tricky feat of producing lots of complicated calls in a short period—a mix of quantity and quality—fare best in the mating department, reports Phys.org.

"It's kind of like singing and dancing at the same time," explains Jessica Ward, lead author of the study for the journal Animal Behavior. And then the media-savvy quote that has managed to generate headlines about a study of frog wooing: "It's easy to imagine that we humans might also prefer multitasking partners, such as someone who can successfully earn a good income, cook dinner, manage the finances and get the kids to soccer practice on time." (In other animal-kingdom news, a study of rats may help explain near-death experiences.)

A gray treefrog.
A gray treefrog.   (Wikimedia Commons/Patrick Con)
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'It's kind of like singing and dancing,' says a frog researcher of the best mating calls. This one should do well?   (YouTube)

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