Collaborative work lead by Dr. Michelle Beck in the Sewall Lab shows the efficacy of beeswax corticosterone implants in elevating circulating corticosterone (CORT) in zebra finches. This new tool will permit future studies examining the learning consequences of elevated CORT.
Comparing social calls across species raises testable hypotheses about the origins of vocal learning. Though there's more work to be done, current evidence suggests that vocal learning could have evolved to facilitate flexible social dynamics in animals ranging from elephants and toothed whales to bats and birds. Check out the new article with co-authors Tim Wright and Anna Young for more detail.