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    Parrots "Name" Young, Study Suggests

    NewsParrot NewsMonday 18 July 2011
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    Researchers have found that wild parrots “name” their chicks by teaching them an individual sound to identify them, just as humans name their offspring and dolphins also assign a unique sound to their young in order to create “contact calls”.  The researchers, from Cornell University and the University of California wanted to test whether or not these “contact calls” suspected to exist in parrots were innate or learned, they took eggs from the nests of wild green-rumped parrotlets and swapped them with eggs from other nests of the same species. They used twelve different nests altogether in the course of this experiment.

    By observing the chicks' development through video and audio rigs, the scientists saw that the young parrots used the contact calls of their adoptive parents rather than those of their true parents.

    This suggests that the names used to identify them were learned, rather than hard-wired by DNA from their biological parents, the authors of the experiment concluded.

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