Female frogs use winking as flirting tactic: study

(Xinhua) 11:31, March 26, 2024

HEFEI, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have found that the behavior of blinking, previously believed to be a social signal mainly observed in certain primates, particularly humans and their companion animals, extends to female frogs, who utilize eyeblinks to communicate with males, encouraging them to initiate amplexus.

The relevant study by scientists from Anhui Normal University was recently published in the journal Current Biology.

According to the research team, female concave-eared torrent frogs (Odorrana tormota), which inhabit noisy streams and are known to use ultrasonic communication, also use eyeblinks to communicate with males to urge them to initiate amplexus for mating.

The discovery demonstrates that eyelid movement serves signaling functions in some non-primate species, expanding beyond its traditional roles of physiological functions, such as lubricating the cornea and clearing dust particles.

Through experimental methods like field observations, controlled amplexus experiments and video playback, the researchers observed female frogs emit blinking signals to males they favor. Only upon receiving this blinking signal can a male frog successfully engage in mating with the female, otherwise, it risks rejection.

According to Zhang Fang, head of the research team, the study represents a significant advancement in the field of frog communication behavior, offering valuable insights into the origin and evolution of visual communication among animals.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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