Before humans ate chickens, we treasured them as exotic pets

FACT: Parrots seem to really enjoy video chatting with other parrots

By Chelsey B. Coombs

Pet loneliness is a huge problem because humans just can’t be there for their animals 24/7. There are over 20.6 million parrots kept as pets in the US, but they often don’t get enough enrichment like they would in the wild with a flock. That can lead to negative behaviors like pacing, excessive sleeping and vocalizations, feather-picking and even self-mutilation.

So scientists at Northeastern University, the MIT Media Lab and the University of Glasgow decided to create and test a parrot-to-parrot video calling system to find out if that could help.

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