For This New Zealand Parrot, “Laughter” Is Contagious

When people are feeling playful, they giggle and laugh, making others around them want to laugh and play too. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on March 20 have found that the particularly playful kea parrot from New Zealand has a “play call” with a similarly powerful influence. When other kea hear that call, it puts them into a playful mood. The findings make kea the first known non-mammal to have such an “emotionally contagious” vocalization, the researchers say. Earlier studies had made similar findings for chimpanzees and rats. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)