By The Bower of Greyskull

Turns out humans aren’t the only species that like to express their individual tastes and styles. Bowerbirds are well known for their extravagant nest building and decorating techniques used to find a potential mate. They go to extreme lengths to decorate their bowers (the characteristic stick-built structures) with brightly coloured ornaments or, as shown by twitter user @dnatimelord below, they can deviate from the script and go a bit more gothic with a collection of bones. Just in time for spooky season!

This design decision might be a reflection of what type of décor the local singles prefer and different regions will have different decorating styles – even for the same species. This is similar to another comic where we looked at how whale song choice varies across regions. Although instead of the Billboard Top 100 its more like a décor’s A-list!


Tanya Strydom is a PhD candidate at the Université de Montréal, mostly focusing on how we can use machine learning and artificial intelligence in ecology. Current research interests include (but are not limited to) predicting ecological networks, the role species traits and scale in ecological networks, general computer (and maths) geekiness, and a (seemingly) ever growing list of side projects. Tweets (sometimes related to actual science) can be found @TanyaS_08.

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