21 Mar 2017

Kea have an infectious laugh

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:32 pm on 21 March 2017
Kea

Kea Photo: NZ Birds Online

A study has found that the native Kea have the equivalent of an infectious laugh - which triggers other keas to play. It was published in Current Biology

The researchers say it is similar the spread of glee in preschool children, and is something that has previously only been seen in mammals.

The research was conducted by former Auckland University PhD student Raoul Schwing under co-supervision by Stuart Parsons and Ximena Nelson at the University of Canterbury.

Tamsin Orr-Walker, the chair of the Kea Conservation Trust has been looking at the study.

NB the introduction to this item incorrectly refers to the study as being conducted by Raoul Schwing's current university in Austria. We regret this error.