A hyrax

The hyrax, a rodent found in Africa and the Middle East, looks like a cross between a rabbit and a woodchuck, so it may surprise you that the way it sings is more like a bird than a mammal. Researchers have determined that the hyrax sings in orderly and arranged sounds, called syntax, which is also how birds communicate. The order and arrangement of the sounds seem to differ depending on where the hyrax lives, similar to people having different accents depending on where they live. Whales, bats, and primates are also known to use syntax, but the sounds made by most other mammals are thought to be fairly random and simple. So, finding such complex vocal arrangements in hyraxes is surprising and suggests that syntax may play a role in even more types of mammals.

Do you think any other mammals can sing like hyraxes?

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