Koala's Call: Making Love Not War

Aficionados of cute animals may know that the koala, the officially adorable Australian marsupial, will, upon occasion, bellow. Previously, it was believed that these deep groaning noises produced by male koala's were used for announcing territorial information. However, a terrestrial ecologist at the University of Queensland, William Ellis, has used GPS and cell phones to show that the bellows are, most likely, actually mating calls used to attract females in the small hours of the night. The research, presented at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, is described in greater detail in Science by Elizabeth Pennisi.

Koalas Calling, by Elizabeth Pennisi. Science News Focus, Science, 327(5967): 777, DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5967.777


Astra Bryant

Astra Bryant is a graduate of the Stanford Neuroscience PhD program in the labs of Drs. Eric Knudsen and John Huguenard. She used in vitro slice electrophysiology to study the cellular and synaptic mechanisms linking cholinergic signaling and gamma oscillations – two processes critical for the control of gaze and attention, which are disrupted in many psychiatric disorders. She is a senior editor and the webmaster of the NeuWrite West Neuroblog