The only reason why everyone loves seeing chimps, dogs, and other animals wearing tuxedos is because Aaaw, they think they're people, even though they totally aren't. Or are they? As we've mentioned before, while no animal has ever come up with their own version of formal eveningwear, many of our four-legged or winged friends do exhibit eerily human-like behavior that will make you question what it really means to be intelligent.
Because you have to wonder, would we still consider ourselves the smartest species on the block if we knew that ...
Birds Protect Their Nests With Passwords
JJ Harrison, Via Wikipedia
In the same way that you might want to protect your computer, so does the superb fairy wren set up passwords to protect its nest from harmful intruders. But unlike you simply trying to keep people from finding the manifest of the unspeakable that is your browser search history, these tiny Australian birds do it to make sure they aren't raising homicidal babies that don't even belong to them.
It's happened to the best of us.
A recent study published in the journal Current Biology has discovered that fairy wren mothers will start singing a particular song to their eggs about a week before they hatch, which will later act as a "learned password." Once they are born, the wren chicks then have to sing the tune back to their mom in order to be fed, and if they fail, the mother will abandon the nest and leave the birds to die. They do that because fairy wrens often fall victim to the bronze cuckoo, which lays eggs in their nests and tricks them into raising the home-invading brood as their own, who, other than being moochers, also have this silly habit of pushing their step-siblings out of the nest.
They're the jobless futon crashers of the animal kingdom.
Scientists concluded that the fairy wrens evolved this system of password voice recognition to tell their real offspring from cuckoo interlopers, even if the latter are massive, gray monstrosities that look absolutely nothing like wrens. Yeah, for all their complex nest security, birds are kind of stupid like that.
Per Harald Olsen