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Being a bird brain isn't so bad after all: Singing in the Brain...song birds n songs, people and speech... Answered

Here is a bit of the article:
' Given the proper teachers and timing, most humans can learn to produce a seemingly infinite number of sounds and sound combinations.

Such is not the case with most animals. In fact, only whales, dolphins, bats, and some birds are known to have the ability to learn vocalizations. Separate a kitten from its mother or other tutor, and its mew will be basically the same as that of its littermates--a pattern that holds true for the howl of a wolf, the grunt of a gorilla, and the whinny of a horse. The trait shared by song birds is even absent from our closest living relative: chimpanzees.

Vocal learning has been repeatedly demonstrated in two bird orders, Passeriformes (specifically the oscine songbirds) and Psittaciformes (parrots), and is believed to occur in a third, the Trochiliformes (hummingbirds). By comparing brain structures in these three bird orders, which are widely separated from one another on the avian family tree, Rockefeller University biologist Claudio Mello and his colleague Erich Jarvis, of Duke University, have shown that the same areas that control song learning and production in songbirds and parrots are also present in hummingbirds, a finding that strengthens the case for vocal learning in the latter.'

Singing in the Brain: the science of vocalization we share with song birds, but not with Chimps...


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13 years ago

I found this rather fascinating.


Reply 13 years ago

I was reading this from the Magazine itself, and when I saw the article was also online, I just had to post it. It shows that brains of birds appear to be more closely related to ours, vocalization/speech-wise