Getting Birds Drunk To See If They Slur Their Songs
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Researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University wanted to study the effects of alcohol on speech, but they couldn't do it with an intern and a bottle of Captain Morgan. So instead they took a bunch of zebra finches (tiny, cute birds from Australia) and gave them booze to see what would happen.
"I'm not racist, but *hic* let me tell you something about the crows, man ..."
Researchers fed the birds a mixture of six percent alcohol and juice until their BAC reached .05-.08. Once the birds were comfortably buzzed, the scientists recorded their singing. And that's when we discovered the most important scientific fact in history: When you get a bird drunk, it slurs its songs. Compared to the sober songbirds, the shitfaced serenades were quiet, garbled, and harmonically disorganized; almost exactly as with humans, minus the "quiet" part. The scientists chose finches for their experiment because it turns out that birdsong and human speech rely on the same genes. Plus, according to the head researcher, the finches were "somewhat willing to consume [alcohol]."