Sometimes a stick might just be a stick
Suzuki (Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences, 115, 1541-1545, 2018) conducted elegant field experiments examining referential communication in Japanese tits. Bond (Learning & Behavior, in press, 2019) explains some key considerations and future experimentation that should be conducted to solidify these conclusions. An important takeaway from both Suzuki and Bond is that scientists can, and should, both be excited for new, interesting scientific discoveries, and also view such findings with a critical, but collegial, eye for more parsimonious explanations and the manipulations required to test such explanations.
KeywordsParids Alarm calls Referential communication
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