Surprise. Scientists have found birds that learn to sing even before hatching
January 9, 00:55 Share:
Sapphire fairywren and other birds have shown unique learning abilities (Photo: boggy22/Depositphotos)
Australian researchers monitored birds using nest recorders and discovered something unique.. Several species of birds learn to sing even before they are born.
In previous studies, scientists have found that females of certain bird species sing to their eggs.. It was also discovered that birds that grew up in the same nest can then beg for food from their mother and father, singing almost identical songs, reminiscent of the singing they heard back when they were embryos. The accuracy of their reproduction was better if the mother sang to them more slowly.
A new study published in The American Naturalist found that at least eight related species exhibit this behavior: the sapphire fairywren, the azure fairywren, the red-backed fairywren, the white-winged fairywren, the red-shouldered fairywren, the variegated fairywren, the violet-headed fairywren and the grass fairywren.
Females of all these species were recorded by the researchers to sing to their unhatched eggs from the 10th day of incubation. This happened when no other birds were visible nearby.. The chicks, as observers established, responded to singing by changing their pulse.
Scientists don't know exactly how these birds developed the ability to learn early, but they speculate that such vocalizations may help them avoid being tricked by the cuckoo's tendency to drop its eggs into the nests of other birds.. So, when the eggs hatch, the female will be able to distinguish someone else's baby by the incorrect singing. It is also suggested that this behavior could have been passed down to the fairies from their ancient common ancestor that existed millions of years ago.
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