Everyone’s favorite thing about animals is when they behave like people and do typical human stuff. A dog is fun; a dog wearing a hat is way funnier. A cat is cool, but a grumpy cat is cooler. Maybe this is a reason why we find animal communication to be so fascinating—language seems to be the top typical trademark of the human species that we can’t make animals copy. But why should we? Check out this list of awesome animal talking and give me one good reason why we people shouldn’t copy them instead!
• Whales can use jumping about as a means of communication. Messages about aggression, mating times or predator warnings can be sent out through hopping above the surface and even noisily slamming down into the water. The latter is referred to as “slapping”. Closest human equivalent: belly-flopping.
• Chicks start tweeting up to 24 hours before they even hatch. Why? Who knows. Human equivalent: sonogram photos in social media.
• Geckos can order a meal simply by nodding. Whenever a treehopper is around, a gecko bobs its head and opens wide—a cue for the insect to shoot some of its honeydew (actually it’s poop) into the lizard’s mouth. Human equivalent: take-out. (Check out how it goes down here.)
• Peacocks—or peafowl as they should properly be called—are rightly famous for their tails. It doesn’t come as a surprise that those babies are for attracting mates, but did you know they can also scare off predators? (Check out a peacock putting its moves on a cat here!) Human equivalent: muscles.
For the grand finale, let’s get down with some science:
• Chimpanzees greet each other with right hand gestures. Unlike humans, however, the primate species doesn’t show right-hand preference for non-communicative actions (like wiping their noses). This suggests that chimpanzees’ communicative processes happen mostly in the left hemisphere of their brains—just like for humans. In human evolution, if communication was good for survival, this could explain why most people today are right-handed. (Read a fascinating article about this here.)
Do you have a favorite? Did your hamster do something cool this morning? Share it with us in the comment section below!