Birds slur their words when they're drunk

December 29, 2014 6:45 PM

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Birds slur their words when they're drunk

As part of a massive effort to plot the most extensive avian family tree, researchers decided to test the effects of alcohol on communication skills. Because zebra finches are often used to better understand vocal learning in humans, scientists at Oregon Health and Science University chose the species as their barroom test subjects.

"We just showed up in the morning and mixed a little bit of juice with 6 percent alcohol, and put it in their water bottles and put it in the cages," researcher Christopher Olson told Arun Rath on NPR's All Things Considered.

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