Crickets, Prince Explained By Science

“If you’re a small male you really have to sing your heart out it seems. Whereas if you’re the strong silent type, you’ll do all right.”
Dr. Tom Tregenza, a professor of evolutionary ecology at the University of Exeter who, with colleagues, studied over 250,000 hours of video of hundreds of marked crickets taken with 64 cameras covering an 8,000-square-foot meadow in Northern Spain. Over two generations of crickets, the study showed that smaller, subordinate males mated with twice as many females as larger, dominant males, while both groups produced the same number of offspring. The scientists also found that the more a smaller, subordinate male sang, the more females he was likely to mate with. While among the larger, dominant males, there was no such connection. Here is some of the footage from the study.

Prince, who turned 52 yesterday, has a new song out, too. It’s called “Hot Summer,” a zippy little bit of guitar pop in the vein of “When You Were Mine” or “Raspberry Beret.” But upon first listen, I was still inclined to pull out the old stuff.