Parrot Talk More Clever Than Thought

Parrot Talk More Clever Than Thought

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Jan. 17, 2007 — A precocious parrot shows off his English skills.

There may be more to parrot talk than simple mimicry, suggests the behavior of one precocious bird.

For the first time, a grey parrot has demonstrated that he can imitate what he sees and hears — demonstrating a more complex understanding of his environment than that needed for mimicry — according to a study in the current issue of Language Sciences.

The bird, Alex, can also create new word labels for objects by combining words he already knows. For example, he called a juicy red apple that appear to have brought to mind bananas and cherries a “banerry.”



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