Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Claudia is a science journalist and editor. Her work focuses on marine science, the environment, and wildlife, particularly regarding how humans interact with the world around them.

How Animals Develop Regional Accents

How Animals Develop Regional Accents

The song of the hermit thrush sounds a bit like an orchestra warming up: the experimental trill of a flautist, a violinist testing his vibrato on a few high notes, all just beginning to suggest a larger melody. This undulating song can be heard throughout North America in the summer. But moving east to west, a keen listener might notice that the bird’s repertoire changes: lower notes introduce each song, like a viola has been added to the mix, and the trills that follow are shorter.

For biologists, this change is the anthem of evolution.

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