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    Testosterone Injections Make Male Birds Louder, Less Attractive

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Injections of testosterone significantly affected the mating habits of male canaries by altering their abilities to attract female attention.

    Injections of testosterone significantly affected the mating habits of male canaries by altering their abilities to attract female attention.

    Researchers at Johns Hopkins University gathered birds of both sexes and put them in an environment that simulated springtime, when mating typically occurs.

    A key factor in the canary mating process is the male’s ability to sing a pleasing tune, so the scientists focused on how testosterone affected their song skills.

    One group of the guy birds had T shots administered directly to their medial preoptic nerves, an area known to affect the sex drive of many species including humans, and the other section had their entire brains soaked in the stuff.

    When it came time to sing their songs of courtship, both groups belted out more melodies than is typical.

    Sadly for the nerve-dosed canaries, the quality of their musical offerings was considered by the females to be sub-par and thus unattractive.

    The males that had been given the allover testosterone boost, on the other hand, didn’t have that problem.

    Scientists speculate that for many species, possibly including humans, successful mating attempts require the participation of several parts of the brain, not just drive.