We show that the learned vocalizations of male and female large-billed crows (Corvus macrorhynchos) are similar and that their functions and physical features show significant differences from those of other oscine species. We investigate whether the song control nuclei of crows show any sexual differences in size, reflecting differences in their singing behavior, and whether these nuclei are different from those of other songbirds in terms of neural connectivity size and relative to the forebrain. Our Nissl staining results reveal that 1) of the four song nuclei examined (HVC; the robust nucleus of the arcopallium [RA]; Area X; and the dorsolateral medial nucleus [DLM]), HVC, RA, and Area X volumes are significantly larger in males than in females, but DLM volume and body and brain weights show no significant gender differences; and 2) the sizes of song nuclei relative to the forebrain are within the range of other oscines. By injecting a neural tract tracer (DiI) into various song nuclei in brain slices, we found that, as in other songbirds, HVC projects to RA and Area X, while Area X projects to the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (lMAN) and DLM, DLM to lMAN, and lMAN to RA. Our results indicate that, although the crow has songs very different from those of other oscine species, its song nuclei and the connections between them are not obviously different.
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