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Birds raised in complete isolation evolve 'normal' species song over generations


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Geplaatst op 04 mei 2009 - 17:27

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Biologists have discovered that zebra finches raised in isolation will, over several generations, produce a song similar to that sung by the species in the wild.

During infancy, each of us emerges from a delightful but largely incoherent babble of syllables and learns to speak – normally, in the language of those who care for us. But imagine what would happen if we were somehow raised in utter isolation from other people, not only our parents but also from surrogates such as nurses and nannies. What sort of culture might we evolve if reared in isolation? Would we learn to speak? Would such a language evolve over multiple generations? If so, would it eventually resemble existing ones?
Such an experiment is not practical to conduct in humans, but an analog has been performed among a species of songbirds called zebra finches.

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Veranderd door confusie, 06 mei 2009 - 02:48

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