A small contingent of chunky, dove-like birds cautiously patter around a clearing in a park in suburban Sydney. Suddenly, a feral cat pounces out from some nearby brush, narrowly missing a flock member’s feather plume-festooned head with a paw. In a panicked huff, the birds take flight, and the air fills with a series…
Some dog owners claim to be able to read the face of their cuddly canine like a book, but it’s completely possible they’re just projecting. New research suggests it’s not just their imagination, and that dogs really do switch on the puppy eyes —but only in the presence of a captive audience.
When Gentoo penguins swim into the open ocean to hunt for food, they often produce wierd buzzing sounds that marine biologists assume is a form of communication. By strapping cameras to the backs of these aquatic birds, scientists have finally figured out the purpose of these odd vocalizations.
In a world’s first, researchers from the US and UK have created an impression of a submerged human as recorded by a dolphin’s echolocation.
To do it, a team led by Jack Kassewitz of SpeakDolphin.com used an imaging system known as a Cymascope. The system, developed by John Stuart Reid (who also assisted with the…
Millions of landmines remain strewn across Angola, remnants of the country’s long civil war. Remarkably, some elephants have learned to sniff out and avoid these hazards, and even alert an entire herd to the danger. Intrigued, the U.S. Army is now testing the ability of elephants to detect chemicals found in landmines…
Humpback whales are renowned for their ability to produce songs of remarkable beauty, complexity, and duration. But despite decades of research, scientists still aren't sure why these whales engage in such elaborate acoustic displays. Here's what we know — and have yet to learn — about the humpback whale's song.
By attaching "Crittercams" onto the backs of jumbo squid, marine biologists have captured unprecedented video showing how these brazen sea creatures flash in red and white as they attempt to communicate with each other.
When your dog barks, is it actually communicating with language, or is it just making a sound to convey "Feed me!" (to you) or "Back off!" (to another canine)? A new animated short from New Scientist investigates "animal chatter," and how it relates to human language.
The BBC has a new series all about animal communication called Talk to the Animals. Someone has posted the first episode online in its entirety, and it's well worth a watch.
In the first systematic study of a non-human primate language, scientists from St. Andrew's University have deciphered the meaning of 66 wild chimpanzee sign language gestures. Ranging from flirting requests to grooming instructions, the gestures may reveal how language evolves.
Seahorses are known for making little "click" sounds while they're feeding, but a group of Austrian and Brazilian researchers have discovered a completely new, never before heard type of seahorse vocalization, which they describe as a "growl."
Fork-tailed drongos are among the most clever of liars in the animal kingdom, deceiving other animals in order to steal their food. The avian thieves have discovered a way to keep their targets in the dark. They do it by using lots of different kinds of lies.
We all have bacteria that live in our bodies, helping us by breaking down food, flushing out toxins, and regulating our weight. But for hyenas and other animals with specialized scent glands, bacteria may have an additional, important role: They could be allowing hyenas to communicate with each other.
In the mid-1600s, green monkeys from Africa were introduced to the West Indies island of Barbados. Despite living a predator-free life for centuries, the Barbados population still responds to an ancestral alarm call that means, roughly translated, “Run up a tree or a leopard will eat you!”
New research shows that tiny bats in Central America use rolled-up leaves as acoustic horns to amplify incoming bat signals. Excluding human activities, it's the first time this technique has ever been observed in nature.
Zoologists know that some animals like to whisper, or do something like it, under certain circumstances. But it's never been observed in nonhuman primates... until now.
The rock hyrax doesn't look like much, but it just joined an elite group of animals who display the rudiments of language. The lengthy songs these social mammals sing to each other show evidence of syntax and even regional dialects.
We all know dolphins are intelligent animals. So intelligent, in fact, that a document called the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans — which argues that dolphins should be afforded similar rights as humans — has actually been gaining some serious traction among scientists and ethicists in recent years.