iPod owners aren't the only ones who frequently shuffle their favorite tunes. Baby songbirds do it, too, a new study shows.
A baby songbird prefers to learn the clearest versions of songs he hears and uses them to build his personal playlist for life. As a result, noise, from nature and humans, influences which songs a bird learns to sing and can create lasting changes to his species' top tunes, the study's results suggest.
"There's been an enormous amount of interest in how anthropogenic factors affect the channels animals use for communication and in particular how human noise affects birdsong," said Duke biologist and study co-author Steve Nowicki. "As far as we know, this is the first study that can link noise to cultural evolution of bird song."