How a bird knows its song

Lars Falkdalen Lindahl / Wikipedia

Songbirds can tell the difference between their song and that of a closely related species from the time they are young, but it's unclear how. A new study suggests their ability is innate and largely determined by their genes rather than learned from the adult birds that raise them.

What it means: A bird's song helps it to recognize its own kind and, through natural selection of the genes involved in how a bird learns to recognize the song of its species, these melodies could actually play a role in forming new species.