S12-6 Thu Jan 7 11:30 – 12:00 The making of an elaborate courtship display: acrobatics, choreographies, and the role of females Fusani, L*; Janisch, J; Perinot, E; Quigley, C; University of Vienna; University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna; University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna; University of Vienna email@example.com http://fusanilab.org
Among the most impressive features of manakins’ courtship displays are their acrobatic jumps and flights. Neuromuscular and skeletal specializations are found in many species of these birds and they are typically functional to production of non-vocal sounds but also to performance of challenging motor displays. Detailed descriptions of the displays were published in the last two decades following advances in high-speed videography, although analysis of courtship focused mostly on the timing and sequence of display elements. In recent years, we were able to conduct detailed studies of the displays of the male golden-collared manakins (Manacus vitellinus) in relation to the presence of females and to the physical features of the displaying court. Here we will review these latter developments that reveal novel, previously unknown aspects of manakins’ courtship. We will illustrate how females participate in shaping male displays and actively ‘test’ courting males’ skills. In addition, we will show how males can rapidly adjust their choreographies following environmental events that disrupt the displaying court, in a manner strongly suggesting the involvement of motor learning in the making of the display.