Drunk birds slur when they sing, too

Zebra-finch

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While liquid courage might embolden a singer to take to the karaoke stage, the results of belting out a favorite tune after one-too-many cocktails can take an embarrassing turn. But humans aren’t the only ones whose vocal stylings suffer when intoxicated. Birds don’t sing so well when they’re drunk, either

After sipping some spiked juice, zebra finches began to slur their songs, according to a study released last week by Oregon Health and Science University

Why get birds drunk in the first place? Researchers study bird songs to help understand human speech patterns. Just as humans develop speech from listening to others talk, finches develop song in a similar fashion. Anyone who has struggled through the sloppy and incoherent chatter of a tipsy pal knows that alcohol changes how people talk. By testing out booze on birds, scientists can gain insight into the impact of alcohol on the brain mechanism that affects the ability to speak in humans Read more…

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