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How do you make a parrot laugh? It helps if another parrot laughs, too

The Verge Monday, 20 March 2017
How do you make a parrot laugh? It helps if another parrot laughs, tooIf you hear two people laugh, chances are you’re going to smile or laugh yourself because laughter is contagious — and not just for humans. Some birds get giggle fits, too.

Wild keas — a large parrot species from New Zealand — engaged in playful behavior when researchers played recordings of kea play calls on speakers. Many birds began playing with their more serious compatriots, while others began playing with objects, or started performing aerobatics in the air, according to a study published today in Current Biology. Other studies found that chimps and rats may find laughter contagious. This study adds birds — which are distantly related to humans — to the list.

To test the parrots’ taste for fun, the researchers played recordings of...
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News video: Parrot Sings Duet With Itself

Parrot Sings Duet With Itself 00:33

This parrot is America’s newest rising star. Kuippo learned how to sing by listening to music. When she heard a recording of herself, she began an impromptu duet. Credit: KD Aerials via Storyful

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