• Question: wow, do animals talk amongst themselves?

    Asked by sabburg1 to Antonia, Douglas, Hugh, Matt, Tom on 26 Jun 2010 in Categories: . This question was also asked by 9mcdej.
    • Photo: Antonia Hamilton

      Antonia Hamilton answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      Animals certainly communicate with each other, and can even teach each other new skills. But I don’t know if we’d really consider it talking in the same way that people talk. They probably only talk about stuff that is right there in front of them (wow, look, a lion, run!) and not about things they can’t see. People spend a lot of time talking about things that are out of sight (did you see the football at the weekend? what are you doing tomorrow after work? etc).

    • Photo: Matthew Hurley

      Matthew Hurley answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      Lots of animals communicate. Pack and herd animals need to do this to co-ordinate attacks on prey and to communicate to the others when they are in danger. Bacteria also communicate – in small umber they are harmless and can be killed by our immune system. Therefore they stay quiet until there are enough of them around so that together they can withstand our immune defences. Ants and bees use a similar technique for finding a new home!

    • Photo: Douglas Blane

      Douglas Blane answered on 25 Jun 2010:

      They certainly communicate with each other. All of them.

      Apes can even be taught to recognise speech and images. African grey parrots can understand and speak with humans. Have a look at the scientist Irene Pepperberg to find out more about that.

      The expression “bird-brain” we now know is way wrong.

      Take a look at this website to see how everything does it – from spiders, fish and frogs to elephants, cats and dogs: http://acp.eugraph.com/