Date: November 27, 2015
Source: University of Southern Denmark
When birds and humans sing it sounds completely different, but now new research reported in the journal Nature Communications shows that the very same physical mechanisms are at play when a bird sings and a human speaks.
Birds and humans look different, sound different and evolved completely different organs for voice production. But now new research published in Nature Communications reveals that humans and birds use the exact same physical mechanism to make their vocal cords move and thus produce sound.
"Science has known for over 60 years that this mechanism -- called the myoelastic-aerodynamic theory, or in short the MEAD mechanism- drives speech and singing in humans. We have now shown that birds use the exact same mechanism to make vocalizations. MEAD might even turn out to be a widespread mechanism in all land-dwelling vertebrates," says lead author of the paper, Associate Professor Dr. Coen Elemans, Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark.
Co-authors of the paper are from Emory University, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and Palacky University.