“Monkeys are our closest biological relatives, and they can’t speak. But parrots don’t seem to have a problem at all,” says the description of the video below. But how come parrots can talk to us?
According to scientists, it comes down to the wiring in parrots’ brains. They use the same brain region for talking as they do for movement, which is why many parrots can “dance” to music.
A study published in PLOS ONE has found that parrots’ brains are different than the brains of other birds who display vocal learning, such as songbirds.
“It takes significant brain power to process auditory information and produce the movements necessary for mimicking sounds of another species,” says Dr. Mukta Chakraborty of Duke University. “The question is, how specialized are these parrot brains, and in what ways? Is it just a select group of specialized genes, or is it some specific projections that we haven’t discovered yet?”
We’ll have to wait for additional studies to learn more about this.