Tarsiers push virtuoso singing to their physiological limits

Opera arias are typically rich in coloratura, for example fast, high notes that stretch over a wide frequency range. Coloratura aren’t just beautiful to listen to: they are also designed to allow the best singers to show off their virtuosity. Now, researchers from Sam Ratulangi University in Indonesia and Cornell University in the US show that pairs of Gursky’s spectral tarsier sing duets that have evolved to similarly show off virtuosity—at least, for those individuals that manage to pull off their species’ version of coloratura: rapidly repeated broadband notes emitted in coordination to form a duet between adult males and females.

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