Monday, November 15, 2010

Speaking Their Language

I love the show RadioLab. This is a one hour, fun-filled, knowledgeable adventure for your ears.  The show talks about everything from famous tumors, to falling in love, to the voices in your head.  It's an entertaining show to listen to while your panting on the treadmill, counting down the minutes until you can stop.

One of the podcast that I finally listened to was called Wild Talk. It's from October 18th. Yes I know, my gym frequency is a little behind.

This episode discussed how animals have a language of their own. I mean we know animals communicate with each other, right?.  Look at orcas:

Orcas are mammals that live in community and constantly talk to each other. But what if we could decipher their language? This is what Professor Zuberbuhler is interested in.

Klaus Zuberbuhler studies forest sounds in West Africa. Through a serious of experiments he discovered that the Diane Monkeys make a particular sound for a particular situation. They even describe characteristics about a certain situation.

For example a Diane Monkey in the treetops of the forest makes a specific sound when it spots a leopard (major predator). This sound not only warns it's fellow monkeys, but the yellow bird in the next tree over can understand it as well.

If you stop and think about this for just a moment you will be "WOWED". Just beyond the forest noises their is a whole other language. Animals from different species speaking to one another just as easily as you would talk to your neighbor.

This world we live in constantly amazes me.  I'm a researcher for a living, often caught speechless when I discover how we as human beings truly know nothing.  Just when we think we've made this amazing discovery, we look just beyond the surface and realize we've only scratched the surface. I like to think of it as job security :)

This challenges me to listen, to really listen to the sounds that surround me. To not let this world pass by me without even noticing.

Listening intently,

If you want to learn more, have a listen. You could learn to speak the forest language soon enough.

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