Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Mice can sing!. I was fascinated by this study, that discovered that male mice sing to their mates (in a pitch inaudible to humans):

If the analysis by the researchers is confirmed, mice can be added to the short list of creatures that sing in the presence of the opposite sex, including songbirds, humpback whales, porpoises, insects and, possibly, bats.

"There was joy in this discovery," Holy said. "We didn't expect it."

Aren't those the most joyful discoveries--the unexpected ones?!

The researchers say that this discovery may help neurobiologists understand how the human brain learns language. This is exciting--I love learning new things about how the brain works, how language works. At the same time, I hate the thought of mouse brains being experimented upon. The first protests I ever attended were animal rights protests at the Northwestern University labs. Maybe these experiments can be done by MRI?

Despite the ramifications, it's nice to know there is more song in the world than we had realized. There is so much we can't hear, so much we don't understand, so much for us to explore more deeply...

(And, no, I have no idea what a "pingle" is! Must be mouse language...)

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