Bird Songs Are Genetic

I’ve always wondered if maybe the human impetus to tell stories and the near-universal ingredients of a ripping yarn are perhaps genetic – that the human brain feels joy when being told a great story (this would plug into Joseph Cambell’s monomyth theory). I point to spiderweb patterns as examples of animals that create certain structures just because they do. Now this about bird songs:

These findings show that song learning in birds is not purely the product of nurture, but has a strong genetic basis, and suggest that bird song has a universal grammar, or an intrinsic structure which is present at birth. The authors note that their findings resemble the well-known case of a
large group of deaf children in the Nicaraguan capital Managua, who in
the 1970s and 80s spontaneously developed a unique form of sign
language called Idioma de Señas Nicaragüense (ISN). [link]






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