A new study conducted by researchers at McGill University has found that brains of baby birds are active long before they are ready to hatch out of their eggs.
The researchers found that hearing sounds such as squawking of other chickens wake up the baby birds once they reach 80 percent of the gestation period.
In the remaining 20 percent of embryonic life, the birds' brains display sleep-like brain patterns though the researchers were unable to find out how exactly this helped the birds.
"This work showed that embryo brains can function in a waking-like manner earlier than previously thought well before birth. Like adult brains, embryo brains also have neural circuitry that monitors the environment to selectively wake the brain up during important events", lead researcher Evan Balaban said.