Do Animals Have Accents?


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Recently, regional accents were observed in English dairy cattle by those who know them best ~ farmers. The phenomenon may indeed be possible, according to scientists. In an
effort to track endangered frogs in East Anglia, the researcher Julia Wycherly found that there were three distinct groups within a species. These groups had different accents, as well as slight physical differences.

Recordings of birds from different parts of the world have demonstrated slightly different singing patterns. Perhaps most mystifying is a study that showed female whipbirds in Australia displayed regional accents, while their mail counterparts did not. Lead researcher Daniel Mennill thinks that one reason for this may be that the male song is often used for wooing the female. Males may compete to be the best performer of the song and win over females. Thus, the song stays the same, and the males try to outdo each other when performing it! The female whipbirds, on the other hand, rarely sing but will do so in response to the males. Some scientists believe that the females pick up regional accents as a way of connecting to other females; it may have the effect of somehow unifying the birds' reproduction cycles.

It's debatable whether animal accents are influenced by humans. Some farmers in the South of England think that their cows have a distinct drawl, which they must have picked up from people! The studies of frogs and birds, however, suggest that animals, especially in the wild, develop their accents through interactions within their community, just like humans.

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