Regular readers know that I’m a huge supporter of Open Access publishing of science, particularly of PLoS. Because more people get to read good science, obviously, but also because with the “Pick of the Week” PLoSONE, you find yourself reading things you’d never otherwise come across.
Such as this study from the University of Toronto, which shows that mice behave just the way lad mags would have us believe humans do, and sing about it. The researchers were listening to the sounds mice make as they have sex, or even contemplate it. Mice communicate in two ways: squeaking (which more or less means unhappy mouse) and ultrasonically (which tends to mean happy, excited mouse). Give a male mouse a whiff of female urine or pheromones, and he makes happy sounds. Give him a female to have sex with, and he gets happier still. Ultrasonic communication zinging all around the place. Female mice, on the other hand, squeak away like mad. They’d rather stay in and wash their hair, obviously. As for other laddish behaviour, well, give a mouse amphetamines, and they go all ultrasonic with delight. But female mice — not even a squeak.