Penguins’ speech patterns are similar to humans, a new study finds







In most human languages, the most frequently used words are short. It turns out the same thing goes for penguins too.



A team of researchers based in Italy have found "compelling evidence" that African penguins use the same speech patterns as we do the first time this has been found in an animal other than a primate.

義大利一個研究團隊發現「令人信服的證據」,證明非洲企鵝與我們使用相同的語言模式 ,這是首度在靈長類以外的動物身上有此發現。


The team recorded 590 breeding calls known as "ecstatic display songs." They were sung by single birds during the mating season, from 28 adult African penguins in three different colonies in Italian zoos.



The songs’ sounds are similar to the bray of a donkey, according to the paper which published Tuesday, and are responsible for the flightless birds’ less-than-flattering nicknamethe jackass penguin.

根據週二刊登的研究報告,這些鳴叫聽來很像驢子叫,這種不會飛的鳥類因此得到「公驢企鵝」( jackass penguin)這個令人不敢恭維的暱稱。


The study found that the vocal sequences contained three distinct syllables of different length, with the "words" used most often the shortest, while the longest sequences were made up of shorter syllables.



The researchers said this showed the flightless birds shared two traits of human speech that the most frequently used words are shorter, but also the longer the sentenceor for penguinsthe call, the shorter the sounds within it.



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