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Some Birds Have Unique Vocal Memory
26.08.2010 11:21
Some Birds Have Unique Vocal Memory
Pallas's warbler

Russian zoologists and ornithologists claim that some birds have unique vocal memory.
      Researchers recorded and analyzed songs of 20 male birds, belonging to Pallas's warbler (Phylloscopus proregulus) bird species. Song of this bird consists of four types of vocal exercises: low and high frequency trills, series of high-frequency sounds and short stereotype signals. Each song is an endless repetition of 10-12 trills, characteristic for each singer, which sings them in random order, but sometimes uses stable combinations of 3-5 trills.
      In other words, songs of Pallass warblers sound like a language, in which words in a sentence come randomly (like in Russian language, for instance). According to scientists, these little birds have two techniques for remembering their songs. First is remembering sets of trills without mixing trills from different sets but singing trills randomly within one set. Second is remembering both trills and their place in a set.
      Researchers admire mnemonic abilities of these birds even more, since they know that Pallass warbler is one of the tiniest singing birds on our planet, and its brain is very little but works perfectly.
      Source: Science News


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