Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Additional Research Supports a Link of Intelligence to Bird Song and Speech....Dinosaurs might have had speech?

Complex tunes, sung by males to impress females, are likely to signal the birds' intelligence.
Published in Current Biology, the findings suggest that females seek mates with superior singing skills - smart enough to survive harsh climes.
Carlos Botero, a researcher from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in North Carolina, led the study.
He and his colleagues compared recordings of 29 species of mockingbird, studying patterns in their songs including the number of different notes, the number of syllables and the birds' abilities to mimic other sounds.

Carlos Botero's approach to song recording

His team then compared weather patterns in the birds' habitats with the patterns in the songs.

Dr Botero told BBC News that it was "very exciting" to see a strong correlation between song complexity and climate.

"The birds are not born knowing how to sing; they have to learn," he explained. The fact that the males sing more variable tunes in a more variable climate could demonstrate the "sexual selection of intelligence".

This means that females may be looking for a tuneful signal that their prospective partner is a good catch.

No comments: