TORONTO – Have you ever wondered, while contemplating the feathered fauna at a local park , “Do birds slur when they’re drunk?”
Well, if you haven’t, there are a team of scientists who have.
READ MORE: Drunk birds taking to the skies in Yukon
A study published in the online journal PLOS One last week revealed that zebra finches, after imbibing willingly, alter their songs.
“The most pronounced effects were decreased amplitude and increased entropy, the latter likely reflecting a disruption in the birds’ ability to maintain the spectral structure of song under alcohol,” the study reads. “Furthermore, specific syllables, which have distinct acoustic structures, were differentially influenced by alcohol, likely reflecting a diversity in the neural mechanisms required for their production.”
In other words slurring.
While it may seem like a frivolous study, the researchers are aiming to better understand the neurobiology of vocal production. The zebra finch was used because the birds learn songs “analogous to how humans learn speech.”
Interestingly, this isn’t the first study on the effects of alcohol on animals. Other studies were done on primates and rodents.