Bird Brains

Scientific American

Massive Genetic Effort Confirms Bird Songs Related to Human Speech

December 15, 2014

Online story: “Songbirds stutter, babble when young, become mute if parts of their brains are damaged, learn how to sing from their elders and can even be “bilingual”—in other words, songbirds’ vocalizations share a lot of traits with human speech. However, that similarity goes beyond behavior, researchers have found. Even though humans and birds are separated by millions of years of evolution, the genes that give us our ability to learn speech have much in common with those that lend birds their warble.”

 

A singing wren
Credit: Andy Morffew via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)