CLOSE
NASA
NASA

NASA Rocket Scientists Study NASA Rockets

NASA
NASA

NASA's Mission To Repurpose The Most Powerful Rocket Engines Ever Launched. The Saturn V's F-1 engines were good enough for Apollo, and they might work with our next space program.
*
Sony announces the finalists in their World Photography Awards. How they'll ever select a winner from these stunning images is beyond me.
*
The pros and cons of rap. Zach “MC Mr. Napkins” Sherwin uses his favorite prefixes for a clever play on words.
*
14-plus movies and TV shows altered due to historical events. You do what you can to avoid the criticism "too soon" or "too close to home."
*
Why Cats Like To Be Petted. Straight-up scientific research is tempered by a chorus of locats in this video report.
*
What Really Blinded Mary Ingalls of the Little House Books? Scarlet fever doesn't cause blindness, but it's caused a lot of fear.  
*
25 Funny Pop Culture Valentines. Select your sweetheart's favorite movie, TV show, or star and you've got it made!
*
Taliban victim Malala Yousafzai is recovering from being shot and has released her first statement to the world. The 14-year-old is determined to continue her fight for the right of all children to get an education.
*
Why we need to do away with 'spoiler alerts.' People who decide not to watch their favorite TV show when everyone else does shouldn't make policy decisions for sites devoted to reviewing television.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
arrow
video
Bone Broth 101
5669938080001

Whether you drink it on its own or use it as stock, bone broth is the perfect recipe to master this winter. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
science
Why Can Parrots Talk and Other Birds Can't?
iStock
iStock

If you've ever seen a pirate movie (or had the privilege of listening to this avian-fronted metal band), you're aware that parrots have the gift of human-sounding gab. Their brains—not their beaks—might be behind the birds' ability to produce mock-human voices, the Sci Show's latest video explains below.

While parrots do have articulate tongues, they also appear to be hardwired to mimic other species, and to create new vocalizations. The only other birds that are capable of vocal learning are hummingbirds and songbirds. While examining the brains of these avians, researchers noted that their brains contain clusters of neurons, which they've dubbed song nuclei. Since other birds don't possess song nuclei, they think that these structures probably play a key role in vocal learning.

Parrots might be better at mimicry than hummingbirds and songbirds thanks to a variation in these neurons: a special shell layer that surrounds each one. Birds with larger shell regions appear to be better at imitating other creatures, although it's still unclear why.

Learn more about parrot speech below (after you're done jamming out to Hatebeak).

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios