Vienna’s University of Veterinary Medicine has been listening to the mice as the tiny Casanovas sing to impress the babes:
It has been known for some time that house mice (Mus musculus) produce ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) during courtship but it has generally been assumed that these are no more than squeaks. However, recent spectrographic analyses have revealed that USVs are complex and show features of song. Although the vocalizations are inaudible to human ears, when playbacks of recorded songs are slowed down their similarity to bird song becomes striking. Frauke Hoffmann, Kerstin Musolf and Dustin Penn of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna’s Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology aimed to learn what type of information is contained in males’ songs for the discerning ear of the female mouse to detect. Their initial studies, the first to study song in wild mice, confirmed that males emit songs when they encounter a females’ scent and that females are attracted to males’ songs. Additionally, the scientists discovered that females are able to distinguish siblings from unrelated males by their songs – even though they had previously never heard their brothers sing.