How do mice communicate? By smell or facial expression?

Forget it. Some mice in Costa Rica communicate by singing, and these tiny sopranos have a lot to teach us about our own language gene. What’s the connection between squeaking and speaking?

Linguist Daniel Midgley gets mousey on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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Show notes

Female mice like more difficult songs

Singing mice can tell us about the FOXP2 gene

A bit about sexual selection in long-tailed widowbirds

For birds, more complicated songs = good

Tecumseh Fitch’s guest post on Language Log, with information about Darwin’s views on language origins

More about the FOXP2 gene