Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Parrotlet Chicks Learn Their Calls From Mom and Dad

Parrots are talkative birds, with impressive, humanlike linguistic abilities. Also like us, male and female parrots are lifelong vocal learners. Because of these similarities, researchers have long wondered whether parrot chicks learn their first calls or if these sounds are innate. For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the calls of parrot chicks in the wild. They find that the birds do learn their first calls—and from their parents, much as human infants do. The findings suggest that parrots may be better than songbirds as models for studying how humans acquire speech. more

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