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Name: Kiley
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: ME
Country: USA
Date: Winter 2013-2014

How many sets of vocal cords do birds actually have? If they have more than one, Why?

Birds do not actually have vocal chords like the membranes of mammals. Songbirds, and some other species, have two bony structures that produce sound, called syrinx, one in each windpipe leading to the two sides of the lungs. The dual arrangement allows many birds to produce more complex sounds, and many can sing while breathing both in and out. This website may be helpful: A search for "bird syrinx" will yield much more information.

J. Elliott

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