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New Scientist features insights from Elon's Gammon

Dave Gammon, associate professor of biology, commented on recent findings involving whether cuckoos in Central and South America are mimicking the sounds of another animal. 

An article in New Scientist focusing on new research involving cuckoos in Central and South America features the expertise of Dave Gammon, associate professor of biology at Elon. 

A screenshot of the article appearing in New Scientist.

‚ÄčThe article highlights research into whether Neomorphus ground cuckoos clap their beaks together to mimic the sound of tooth clacks by peccaries, a hoofed piglike animal, to ward off large predatory cats. The cuckoos typically follow herds of peccaries to find food left as peccaries make their way through leaf litter, the article notes. 

The research explains that the birds could be mimicking the peccaries to help deceive predators. Gammon told reporter Sandrine Ceurstemont that while he's intrigued by the research, he wonders whether the similarity could be explained by the animals producing similar sounds in response to some features of their shared environment. 

"It will be interesting to see what additional evolutionary insights are made," Gammon told the journal. 

Read the full journal article here

Gammon has received attention for his research of mockingbirds and the kinds of songs and sounds that the birds choose to imitate. 

Owen Covington,
7/3/2017 1:45 PM