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Off the Leash Off the Leash

Parrots appear to name their young

Scientists believe it may be a historic find.

By Vetstreet Nov 15, 2012 6:16PM

A National Geographic team studying green-rumped parrotlets in Venezuela found some very rare behavior: The parents seem to name their fledglings.

Image: Green-rumped Parrotlet (Arco Images GmbH/Alamy)By listening to recordings of the birds’ chatter, explorer Karl Berg’s team found that the baby birds appeared to recognize and learn individual calls made specifically for them by the adults.

If the babies were learning the contact calls directly from their parents, then this would be the first example of a nonhuman species teaching acoustical communication.

— Watch it at National Geographic

Bing: Watch and listen to parrots talking.

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Image: Green-rumped Parrotlet (Arco Images GmbH/Alamy)

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33Comments
Nov 16, 2012 1:16AM
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When I was a kid, back in the late sixties, a large raven showed up in my family's yard and it talked! It was friendly, got on are arms, and when it spoke it said, "Hi, I'm spooky," or just "I'm spooky." One of our neighbors took it in and from what I heard it lived a long happy life with him and his family.

Nov 16, 2012 12:24AM
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how cute :3 i have some birds and i love just watching them they do silly things i <3 them!

Nov 15, 2012 11:53PM
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All creatures in our world possess a soul or spirit and that even includes plants in my opinion.  Horticulturists will all tell you that a plant responds to loving care much better than to abuse or just being ignored.  Dairy cattle generally give more milk when they are kept in comfortable surroundings and hear pleasant music.  Gorillas have demonstrated that they are capable of desiring the company of pets such as a kitten and in one instance a child fell into the gorilla exhibit at a zoo and a female not only protected the child from an agressive male but lifted the unconcsious child up to rescuers as they were lowering into the enclosure to retreive him.

 

There is also a case where a researcher spent a great deal of time teaching a gorilla how to use American sign language.  She developed a very extensive vocabulary and eventually began to express her feelings and emotions using language.  When her feline cage mate died she became depressed and when asked what was troubling her she told her keeper that she missed her kitty.  They got her another and she returned to her normal self. 

Nov 15, 2012 11:44PM
Nov 15, 2012 11:27PM
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Fish are not very good at remembering names, mine keeps calling me Bob.
Nov 15, 2012 10:56PM
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We're only starting to scratch the surface of understanding on how the other species on this planet communicate.  More research needs to be done to have better grasp on what our furred and feathered and even fishy neighbors are saying to and about us.
Nov 15, 2012 10:50PM
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It wouldn't be the first example discovered.  Mother Mexican Freetail bats teach their young a unique series of chirps, like a song, and use it in a call and response to find their babies after returning from feeding.
Nov 15, 2012 10:36PM
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If a bird can remember my name, of course it can name its siblings?
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