In the animal kingdom, parrots are known and recognized for their ability to speak. This is a talent that has been exploited in various shows and in all the homes in which one of them lives. It is true that they have the amazing ability to repeat the words they are told, but is that synonymous with how human beings can speak as we understand speech?
Do parrots talk?
Parrots cannot do what we understand by speaking. We define the action of speaking as the communication that is established by means of words, which are sounds with significance and meaning that are articulated with the vocal cords.
What are the vocal cords of parrots like?
They do not have, so they can only repeat sounds. They do not have the capacity to establish conversations as human beings understand them. Therefore, there are no types of parrots that speak. All of them, however, have an organ called a sirynx, which is a membrane that is located at the base of the trachea.
It allows some birds to them a big precision at the time of repeating the sounds to that they hear. This is why there are birds that can talk.
Some species of psitaciforms have been particularly skilled in repeating the words they hear. It's the macaws, the cockatoos, the yacos or the Amazons.
In addition to the sirynx, in the case of parrots, this capacity for imitation is complemented by a brain structure with areas destined to the imitation of sounds, hence they are so good in it and that is what makes it possible to explain why the parrots speak. Researchers believe that this brain structuring also allows them to keep up of the music.
These anatomical features that provide them for imitation and, of course, the fact that they are social animals that need and seek interaction explain the parrots interest in imitations, at least when they are in captivity. There are no examples of such imitations in birds living in freedom.
Why do parrots talk and other animals not?
As we have already seen, parrots do not speak, imitate sounds, and this is a capacity that not all animals have. Cats, for example, are also animals with a high aptitude to imitate sounds, however dogs do not possess this quality.
Why do parrots imitate?
Parrots have a great ability to repeat the sounds they hear. It is not a skill that only they have, since there are other species, such as crows, magpies or starlings, in addition to other birds of their order, such as the calves or cockatoos, that manage to reproduce sounds with great precision.
When in captivity, the most common thing is that these sounds are the words addressed to them by their caregivers, as well as any other everyday noise like that of the mobile phone.