ScienceDaily (Aug. 11, 2000) — DURHAM, N.C. -- In a collaborative study, American and Brazilian scientists have discovered that hummingbirds, parrots and songbirds orders of birds that are evolutionarily distant from one another have evolved remarkably similar brain structures in order to learn to sing. The finding, reported in the Aug. 10 issue of Nature, will not only help understand the evolution of song in birds, but also offer insights into language in humans.

Read the rest of this study here.

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This study is fascinating. The question, did they evolve independently or have common ancestors leads to interesting unanswered questions. I wonder if they will be able to find the answer in DNA? When did DNA studies start, do you remember?

"The DNA profiling technique was first reported in 1984[3] by Sir Alec Jeffreys at the University of Leicester in England,[4] and is now the basis of several national DNA databases. Dr. Jeffreys's genetic fingerprinting was made commercially available in 1987, when a chemical company,Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), started a blood-testing centre in England.[5]" Wikipedia.

It probably wasn't yet available for this study. That means we may have an answer to this question. 


Thanks Joan.

Interesting. Thanks.

I love hummingbirds.  Each summer I put out feeders for them and they visit frequently.  I know their little chirps even when I don't see them.

Oh same here. I have a feeder and some plants that produce flowers that Hummingbirds love.




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