Some birds stutter just like people. Sometimes they repeat syllables, alter them or insert new ones into songs they have learnt until finally breaking out into the rest of the song. David Rosenfield of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and his colleagues Nagalapura Viswanath and Santosh Helekar recorded the songs of 76 male zebra finches housed in their lab. Digital analysis revealed that seven per cent of them stuttered regularly. Although stuttering is thought to have a genetic component, all the stuttering birds had fluent parents. "We're unbelievably excited by this," says Rosenfield ( New Scientist , Vol 164, No 2209).
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.