The Presidential Daily Brief

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    Wolves’ Calls Provide Clues to Birth of Human Speech

    They’re not just howling at the moon. Researcher Holly Root-Gutteridge and a group of scientists have created the world’s most comprehensive collection of canine vocalization recordings, culling sounds from the wild, zoos and even YouTube dog videos. The result? They still don’t know the meanings of wolves’ howls, but different breeds have “cultural” characteristics across continents and, like musicians, some are influenced by the sounds of others. Their research may help illuminate what some call the “hardest question in science” — the origin of human language.

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