How birds produce complex songs?
Have you wondered how birds come up with such complicate melodies? Now, scientists have developed a simple rubber device that replicates complex bird songs.Updated: Jan 03, 2011 13:33 IST
A group of US scientists, including an Indian-origin boffin, has developed a simple rubber device that replicates complex bird songs.
Researchers at Harvard University said the song is produced by blowing air through the device that mimics a bird''s vocal tract, reports the BBC.
The findings appear to challenge the idea that birds had to learn complicated neurological controls in order to produce distinctive calls.
The team plans to share its data with biologists to see if it sheds new light on how birds produce complex songs.
"I definitely did not think that I would be able to produce a whole bird song when we started," said Aryesh Mukherjee, a member of the project team.
He added that the design of the device was very rudimentary.
"It is made out of two pieces of rubber, which are stuck together but leaving a little area in the middle that forms the ''vocal tract''," Mukherjee added.
As well as the air source, the device is pressed together by a motor that replicates the action of a contracting muscle.
The team was able to replicate a number of bird-songs, such as Bengalese finches and vireos and was able to closely model the song of zebra finches.
The team plans to publish its findings in a paper in the near future.
First Published: Jan 03, 2011 13:26 IST