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Some birds sing the same song for hundreds of thousands of years


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Many of the birds that awaken us each morning learn their melodious songs the same way that humans learn a dialect—from parents and neighbors.

But to most biologists, learning songs through mimicry is an uncertain and error-prone process, resulting in slow but inevitable change in song over the years.

A new study by biologists from the University of California, Berkeley, and Missouri State University in Springfield, however, documents songs in East African sunbirds that have remained nearly unchanged for more than 500,000 years, and perhaps for as long as 1 million years, making the songs nearly indistinguishable from those of relatives from which they've long been separated.

https://phys.org/news/2022-01-birds-song-hundreds-thousands-years.html

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12 minutes ago, Still Waters said:

Many of the birds that awaken us each morning learn their melodious songs the same way that humans learn a dialect—from parents and neighbors.

But to most biologists, learning songs through mimicry is an uncertain and error-prone process, resulting in slow but inevitable change in song over the years.

A new study by biologists from the University of California, Berkeley, and Missouri State University in Springfield, however, documents songs in East African sunbirds that have remained nearly unchanged for more than 500,000 years, and perhaps for as long as 1 million years, making the songs nearly indistinguishable from those of relatives from which they've long been separated.

https://phys.org/news/2022-01-birds-song-hundreds-thousands-years.html

Interesting and clever way to measure the changes with bird populations isolations. Need to be carefull that they don't have contact between them tho. Some bird mimic other bird songs same species or not. 

Edited by Jon the frog
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Not sure I believe this... I think they have changed their songs many times...

There is a bird here in sweden "Talgoxe" Great tit in english.. It lives in all europe.
When I was a kid all sang ti-ti-tyy ti-ti-ty but in the middle of the 80s people started notice that some birds had changed their song to tii-tyy.
Now its rare to hear any birds sing ti-ti-ty ti-ti-ty anymore..
They first thought it was the noice polution from our society that had somhow made the birds change their song.
But even far way from human settlements the bird had changed their song.. 

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Maybe, the biologists will find out soon that Bohemian Rhapsody and Stairway To Haven has been already sung by the Homo Erectus. A million and a half years ago.

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