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January 13, 2005

Rats! It's All Dutch to Me

According to a China Daily report, researchers in Spain have shown that rats can use the rhythm of human language to tell the difference between Dutch and Japanese. Their study suggests that "animals, especially mammals, evolved some of the skills underlying the use and development of language long before language itself ever evolved." This is the first study to show that an animal other than a monkey shares this skill with humans. The Dutch and Japanese languages were chosen because they are very different from one another in use of words, rhythm and structure, and had been used in earlier, similar tests.
Study: Rats can tell Japanese from Dutch

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