Penguins. They’re just like us

February 13, 2020

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Dozens of African penguins are shown standing and laying on rocks.

A colony of African penguins are pictured at the Penguin Reserve at Stony Point in Betty's Bay near Kleinmond, southwest of Cape town, South Africa.


Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

From The World and PRX, this is The Number in the News, Today’s number: 28. Researchers in Italy are listening more closely to penguins in an effort to understand how the flightless birds communicate. The study analyzed nearly 600 penguin “songs” from 28 adult African penguins and found that the structure of the songs closely imitates the structure of human language. Previous studies have found similarities between human language structure and the way chimpanzees communicate, but the new study from the University of Torino is the first to analyze birds.

Listen to the penguin songs in this episode of The Number in the News, a daily flash briefing for your smart speaker that we’re featuring as a special here in The World’s podcast feed. Listen to The Number in the News every morning to hear a shareable story in just two minutes. It’s one number you won’t forget, plus why it’s in the news today.

Click here to add The Number in the News to your smart speaker News Briefing on an Amazon or Google smart speaker. Produced by The World’s Bianca Hillier.

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