Parrots are known for their ability to imitate human speech and in the past it was common to see this bird as a pet. However, the CAR has always insisted that it is part of the wild species in the Colombian territory and that they should be kept at home. , now it is an environmental and criminal crime.
It may be surprising to know that parrots, like other birds, do not have vocal cords, which raises the question of how parrots can speak like humans.
Why can parrots talk?
The answer is that parrots have a vocal organ called a syrinx, located at the base of the trachea, it is made up of two cartilaginous plates that can vibrate to produce sounds; These animals can control the way the syrinx vibrates to mimic a variety of sounds, including the human voice.
According to Dr. David Mench, professor of animal science at the University of California, Davis: “Parrots can speak because they have a vocal organ called a syrinx, which is located under the trachea. A syrinx is a bundle of muscles and cartilage that can vibrate to produce sounds. “Parrots can control the way the syrinx vibrates to imitate many sounds, including the human voice.”
On his part, Dr. Irene Pepperberg, a researcher at Harvard University, added: “Parrots are very good mimics because they have a very good brain that allows them to learn and remember sounds. “They also have a great ability to contract the muscles of the syrinx.”
The ability of parrots to speak is a fascinating phenomenon that is not yet fully understood. However, research has shown that parrots have a complex vocal system that allows them to imitate many sounds.
How do they make sounds?
Researchers from Duke University (United States) published a work in which they sought to understand the ability of parrots, because it requires a complex and important capacity of the brain.
The research, published in 2015 in the scientific journal Plos One, found different signs in the brain of parrots that may explain their ability to imitate certain sounds.
According to them, the main difference between the brains of parrots and those of songbirds and hummingbirds, which also learn sounds, is what they call the “shell,” which supports the processes of imitation by allowing the parrots to combine auditory information with behaviors necessary for reproduction. this.
Therefore, it is common for a parrot to repeat words that it often hears in a house, such as “daddy”, “I’m hungry”, “I want cocoa” or the name of a family member.
What animals can make sounds similar to human speech?
Apart from parrots, macaws, cockatoos and parakeets are also known for their ability to imitate human voices. They can learn to say words, phrases and even songs.
Dolphins, whales, elephants and primates can also make complex sounds. Dolphins and whales use a system of clicks, whistles and chirps to communicate with each other. Elephants use low frequency sounds to communicate over long distances. Primates, such as chimpanzees and gorillas, can learn to use sign language.