island conservation Kea

Research Highlights the Importance of Laughter in Kea Sociality

Study shows that the New Zealand Kea is the first non-mammal to show contagious emotion though a laugh-like noise that makes other Keas happy.

We all know that laughter is contagious among humans. Now, research tells us that it’s also contagious among Keas. The Kea is a species of parrot native to the mountains of New Zealand’s South Island. A new study published in the journal Current Biology shows that the Keas have a specific call that puts other parrots in a good mood.

This discovery represents the first time a non-mammal has been proven to show contagious emotion. Previously this quality had been relegated to the likes of humans, chimpanzees, and rats. Researchers already knew Keas made this non-threatening call while playing—with others or alone—however, they did not know exactly what the sound meant.

island conservation New Zealand Kea

Keas live in the mountains of New Zealand. Credit: Bernard Spragg

In order to study this phenomenon, a research team led by Raoul Schwing of the Messerli Research Institute in Austria used recordings of bird sounds such as the Keas’ laughter and the calls of other native birds in the area. Researchers then observed the Keas’ responses upon hearing these recordings. They found that when Keas heard the “laughter,” they would play for a longer period of time than if they heard other calls. Schwing commented:

In many instances, we saw that the Kea were immediately animated to play, but not by joining ongoing play already happening. Instead, they spontaneously started to play with the bird next to them, or played solitarily in the air or with an object.

Researchers believe that the call is less of an invite for play and more an expression of enjoyment that can spread to nearby birds. Keas that hear the calls are moved to play with the birds nearest them, by themselves, or with an object.

Keas are incredibly intelligent animals, but due to the threats posed by invasive species they are considered Endangered according to the IUCN Red List. Tamsin Orr-Walker, co-founder and chair of the Kea Conservation Trust hopes that studies such as this will inspire people to help protect the native parrot. Next time your friend’s giggles make you laugh, remember that somewhere in New Zealand, a Kea is having a similar experience.

Video: Scientific American
Featured photo: The Kea. Credit: Bernard Spragg
Source: National Geographic

About Emily Heber

Emily is a recent graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a BS in Zoology. As a student, she discovered that she had a passion for the conservation of endangered species and their ecosystems. Her background in informal education has allowed her the opportunity to share her passion for animals with others, something she seeks to continue doing while working with the communication team. In her spare time, Emily enjoys exploring the amazing hiking trails found in Santa Cruz and tries to SCUBA dive whenever possible. Emily is excited to join the Island Conservation team and to help share the amazing work that is being done here.

View All Posts

Follow Island Conservation on Social Media

[ism-social-followers list='fb,tw,li,youtube,instagram' template='ism_template_sf_1' list_align='horizontal' display_counts='false' display_full_name='true' box_align='center' ]

[ism-social-followers list='fb,tw,li,youtube,instagram' template='ism_template_sf_1' list_align='horizontal' display_counts='false' display_full_name='true' box_align='center' ]

Midway Atoll conservation

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this:
Send this to a friend

penis size increase medicine tekmale male enhancement ebay effective male enhancement products dxl male enhancement pill top rated male enhancement creams taking sex pills not for energy penis enlargement vitamins walmart penis enlarge exercises cheap erectile dysfunction drugs herbal supplement for viagra blue pill painkiller mfgr of black rhino male enhancement pill chest enhancement what sex pills really work yahoo where to buy oxygenate pills for ed ways to naturally enlarge penis erectile dysfunction pills south africa protogen penis enlargement n 15 green pill poems about male enhancement bellafill penis enlargement enzyte male enhancement order account emergency contraceptive pills after sex rhino sex enhancement pills reviews tablet medicine bravado male enhancement review good energy pill wallgreens generic ed pills animal test supplement alpha titan testo male enhancement pills duration penis enlargement surgery african mojo male enhancement pills best prescription male enhancement pills what is some ingredients used in penis pills how to make your penis longer eithout pills penis enlargement surgery after errect pills to make your penis grow and stay hard penis stimulation pills

coconut oil pills weight loss herbalife pills to lose weight cell u loss 1600 calorie diet for weight loss are soup diets good for weight loss is a liquid diet good for weight loss reviews for keto tone diet pills fat bomb recipes keto diet best weight loss pills without working out diet system to lose weight sourdough bread weight loss diet plan diet ketogenic weight loss free keto diet plans and recipes weight loss is 70 percent diet birth control pills best for weight loss general motors weight loss diet program reviews what is the best detox weight loss diet what are the best weight loss pills at walmart diet supplements to help lose weight visi weight loss pill best green tea supplements for weight loss diet and weight loss centers palm beach gardens diet whey protien weight loss what drugs can i take for weight loss vegan diet plan to lose weight weight loss chili pills protein diet food for weight loss weight loss with cayenne pepper pills best soup diet to lose weight cocaine weight loss diet weight loss injections and pills mission weight loss diet weight loss healthy diet chart most efficient diet for weight loss paleo diet weight loss indian zigzag diet for extreme weight loss average weekly weight loss low carb diet best weight loss pill for men at walmart average weight loss on 1200 calorie diet

hemp seed oil vs cbd can cbd oil be drug tested free cbd samples free shipping cbd oil and beta blockers charlottes web cbd dosage chart cbd oil best brand cbd flower indiana most popular cbd oil infinite cbd coupon code will cbd oil help with carpal tunnel top rated cbd companies full plant extract cbd oil cbd xrd oil drops kentucky farms cbd cbd cannabidiol buy is hemp oil extract the same as cbd oil cbd wichita cv sciences cbd oil sensi chew cbd gold cbd network marketing yerba buena cbd canyou shop cbd oil cbd urban what does cbd help chronic cbd wildflower cbd review what cbd does to the brain huile cbd cbd oil iowa laws types of cbd oil that are energizing weed oil cbd does cbd oil show on drug tests best cbd oil in oregon lyft cbd oil review cbd oil atomic structure michael j fox and cbd does cbd oil help inflamation cbd coupon codes