use for terrestrial predators <versus> aerial enemies.

hereup83

Member
Korean-Korea
The drongos use their mimicry abilities to engage in “false alarm calling.” The false alarm calls startle other species into dropping prey, which the crafty drongo then snatches up. Drongos can mimic the sounds of eagles and hawks (aerial predators), magpies and monkeys (potential nest predators), and the alarm calls of at least two bird and one squirrel species. And they imitate the different mobbing calls other birds use for terrestrial predators (e.g., snake, mongoose) versus aerial enemies. < --- > (from the book Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals)

Q. I don't quite get the use of "versus" in the passage. I find this sentence to sound a bit ambiguous in that the use of versus can mean two different things.

Is is that the birds send out different warning signals when facing two different types of predators? (terrestrial vs. aerial)

or birds send out signals warning against terrestrial predators which are in a fight with their own aerial adversaries.



< Quotation reduced to comply with 4-sentence limit (Rule 4). Cagey, moderator >
 
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  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    ... Is is that the birds send out different warning signals when facing two different types of predators? (terrestrial vs. aerial) :tick:

    or birds send out signals warning against terrestrial predators which are in a fight with their own aerial adversaries. :cross:
    "Different" requires two things. Those two things are the two calls. If it has the second meaning, we must come up with something else that these calls are different from. There is nothing else in the context that it seems to be compared with.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It's saying the drongo is so good it can imitate both those calls, not just one. I assume the drongo is smart enough to know which one to use in different situations.
     
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