Showing posts with label babbler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label babbler. Show all posts

Birds Know Who is Related to Them

Zoology shows men scorn their stepsons, like birds.
It is common knowledge that cuckoos "dump" their eggs in other birds' nests to put the responsibility of bringing up cuckoo chicks to strangers. It appeared that birds could not tell the difference between there own offspring and cuckoos. However, this belief has been proved wrong by research on the southern pied babbler of Africa.
southern pied babbler
This bird lives in a group of up to 14 individuals. It has been observed that the dominant male will push out unrelated subordinate males. Females did not show any favor. It is purely a male thing. The prime behavior of the birds is the practice of male birds helping to raise the young of other mating pairs. They obviously remember who is related to whom, particularly in regard to their own young.

The males thrown out of groups do not fair well in life generally. Their health suffers. They become skinny and remain that way. Seldom do they become dominant males. There could be a message for humans here: perhaps men who have children with women who already have children by other men treat their own offspring better and scorn their stepchildren.
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The Chestnut-Crowned Babbler Bird Uses Sentences

It seems that bird calls evolve like human language. Research on the chestnut-crowned babbler shows the cooperative bird is able to change the order of sounds to make new "sentences" with different meanings. The babbler does not sing like other birds. It makes a series of unique sounds.
The chestnut-crowned babbler bird uses sentences
Analysis shows that the bird is communicating in different ways by stringing sounds together. It has two main categories of calls A and B. If flying, only AB calls are made. In the nest with young birds BAB calls predominate.

When different calls were played back, AB calls initiated flight in the birds that heard it and BAB sounds caused them to go the nest. These "sentences" were definitely perceived as unique instructions. Even when sound prompt elements were changed for the sentences the birds could still tell the difference.

This is the first time a vocabulary type structure in communication has been observe in any animal other than human. The first sound in The A and B structure determines what the overall meaning is, This is similar to human words, for example like the C in CAT (when AT can be used multiple times in any human sentence). It would be pertinent to assume that language in humans began with a very simple system as in these birds.
 Economics by Ty Buchanan 
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