Despite their striking diversity, the songs of rattling cisticolas have traits that are a characteristic of the species across a wide geographic range. Song form has likely evolved as a result of multiple evolutionary pressures, including stabilizing selection on some elements for species identification and selection for diversity on the form and frequency characteristics of other elements. In a previous study (Benedict & Bowie, 2009), we found that a congener, the red-faced cisticola, also showed diverse song forms with some species-specific elements, supporting Daporinad the idea that song form is generated by multiple evolutionary pressures (Seddon, 2005). In both cisticola
species, song structure and a few characteristic syllable forms are fixed, but birds of the two species generate song diversity differently. Red-faced cisticolas mix up the ordering Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Library of syllables and vary song duration, whereas rattling cisticolas have relatively fixed song durations and ordering, but generate highly variable end-phrase forms (Benedict & Bowie, 2009). These two data points illustrate the potential for song variation to arise through many different avenues. Fixed features can take many forms, potentially allowing all 40 plus species of the morphologically
conserved cisticola warblers to signal species identity with song. These studies illustrate the importance of phenotypic features beyond morphology for species identification. They also emphasize the value of library resources Vasopressin Receptor for evaluating phenotypic features of problematic groups. Many forms of information, including sound archives with wide geographic sampling, are available to researchers wishing to examine current patterns of diversity and the resulting indicators of evolutionary processes. We thank the Wildlife Division of the British Library, the Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds and the Ditsong Museum of Natural History (Transvaal Museum) for providing song samples, as well as all of the authors who contributed to these valuable sound
depositories. This paper was improved by comments from Jay McEntee, Alex Kirschel, Tim Parker, Tereza Petruskova and an anonymous reviewer. Thanks are due to Kim Hoke for statistical advice. Funding to conduct this study was provided by the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Alexander Fund. “
“Little is known about how season influences burrowing activity, burrow structure or reproductive behaviour in subterranean mammals. We excavated burrow systems of male and female Georychus capensis, a solitary, subterranean rodent, in winter (wet season) and summer (dry season) to investigate whether, if any, seasonal differences were due to putative mate-seeking behaviour of males. Burrow structure differed between seasons but not between sexes.