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Male Red-Eyed Tree Frogs Shake Tree Branches to Communicate

By: Katie Cordrey - Published: Jun 20, 2010 • References: blogs.discovermagazine and nytimes
Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute have discovered that male red-eyed tree frogs use the vibrations of shaken plant branches to communicate. Using his back legs to do frantically fast push-ups against a plant branch, a male tree frog that feels threatened by another telegraphs vibrations through the plant. The frog receiving the message often returns the same signal.

Initial hypotheses drawn from observations of the vibrational communication were tested on male red-eyed tree frogs using a robotic frog and mechanical shaker to simulate territorial bickering.