parrots talking photo Photo: enlewof / cc
© enlewof / cc

Escaped parrots in Australia are teaching their wild brothers to speak - and possibly to conspire against us.

Most people think that when the apocalypse comes, it will be at the hands of the robots, or possibly the zombies. But it appears that a newer and possibly far greater threat is looming, and that humanity's doom will be wrought not by the machines nor by the undead - but by the parrots.

According to representatives of the Search and Discover section of the Australian Museum, the country's wild parrots, particular cockatoos, are being taught how to speak by domesticated birds who either escaped or were set loose by their owners. Birds are normally taught to talk by humans but the museum said that if an escaped bird survives long enough to join a wild flock, it can pass on it what it's learned to others.

"The birds will mimic each other," said Jaynia Sladek of the Museum's ornithology department. "There's no reason why, if one comes into the flock with words, [then] another member of the flock wouldn't pick it up as well."

It's also possible that the "evolution of language" could be passed from talkative parents to chicks, and while parrots in rural areas are likely to lose their ability to speak over time as words "disintegrate a bit and become part of that particular flock's repertoire," city birds living in places like Sydney and Melbourne will probably actually improve their vocabularies through regular contact with humans.

They study us. They learn to speak like us. And they plot against us. It's the cockatoo apocalypse. And no one is safe.

Source: Australian Geographic