Familial differences in earliest vocal babblings of juvenile songbirds suggests possible genetic basis for variations
Date: August 18, 2016
Source: Hokkaido University
As human language and birdsong are both acquired through vocal practice, different patterns emerge among individuals. These distinctions play an important role in communication and identification. Until now, however, it was unclear how individual birds learned slightly different vocal patterns.
The research team uncovered variances in the earliest practice singing--known as "subsong"--of zebra finch juveniles, including different temporal patterns between individuals. Furthermore, these differences were found to be more pronounced among different families. Experiments also showed that differences persisted among the juvenile birds even when deafened.