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Mice Can Sing, Change Tune to Attract Female (VIDEO)

Scientists have discovered that mice can sing and mimic complex calls and sounds.

For decades, scientists have assumed that mouse vocalizing is inborn unlike animals with more advanced vocal systems like humans or birds. But now, they figured out that mice have the ability of "local learning" and use their vocal cords to copy the pitches from other mice.

Male mice, who use high-pitched singing to attract females, also adjust their pitch when other male mice are around. It was originally assumed that their pitches were innate or instinctive traits, not learned.

Researchers from Duke University made the discovery when they put together two male mice with different vocal ranges in the same cage with females. Some mice were tenors and others were basses. After two months in the same cage, the male mice with tenor vocal ranges began singing in a lower base range. Likewise, the male mice with a bass pitch started singing in a higher pitch.

Erich Jarvis, one of the study's researchers told LiveScience that the mice changed their tune in front of the ladies so they all sounded pretty much the same.

The research could shed light on autism or other conditions that involve communication disabilities.

Other researchers are now trying to see if they can change the brain circuitry of mice to resemble humans and birds to see if they can sing better and be better imitators.

In Japan, scientists have already bioengineered a "singing mouse" that tweets like a song-bird.

Watch a video of a mouse singing below:

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