Many male birds use their flashy colored feathers to lure females, but the great bowerbird of Australia has mastered the art of illusion to captivate the ladies, researchers said Thursday.
Part architect, part magician, the great bowerbird constructs an elaborate arched walkway called a bower made from twigs.
Then he strategically places fruit, shells, bones and rocks outside it so they may appear larger, or smaller, or simply more compelling to a female who considers him for a mate.
When the female enters his archway and watches, the male uses his beak to pick up the little gems on his stage and wave them before her eyes, using a series of optical illusions to keep her attention, said the study in Science.
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