The rabbit-sized mammals called rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis) sing to woo their mates. Vlad Demartsev at the University of Konstanz in Germany and his colleagues had noticed that their songs seemed to have a beat. The typical hyrax song has an ‘isochronous’ rhythm, which means that notes are spaced at regular intervals. (Some human songs are isochronous too, although we tend to use syncopation, or off-beat elements, to build tension and add interest.)
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