Language of Animals: Myth or Reality


Language of animals

We all know how much important language is. We also know that it is a complex system that has its own structure, rules and many other elements and components, which we should learn in order to be literate. Although, we study language rules at school and university, this knowledge can be lost with time (especially when we are not occupied with language related matters professionally). That is why we often need professional help when there is a need to create or correct a text. Luckily, there are experts that possess special knowledge and skills and can help us anytime. Our online service provides qualified help in written text creation, correction, editing, proof reading, revision, rewriting and so on matters. Our experts are highly educated owners of MBA and PhD degrees, philology field specialists that are aware of all demands set by language and society to written papers. They know better than others how a perfect text should look like, what to remove from it, what to change or add. Our site provides appropriate services round-the-clock and guarantees an absolute privacy of cooperation. Only pro writers will work on your papers. Language with its complexity is our natural environment. However, not only human language is complicated. There is a belief that animals also have their own language, which is also pretty complex. Is it really so? We tried to figure out and conducted research. Let us present what we have found out.

Language of animals and its types

Most animals form groups of their kind in order to survive. So-called “social” animals have developed their relationships greatly. And now these relationships are characterized by their own norms of joint living, highly developed instinctive reactions to the behavior forms and signalization systems that are used to transfer information (and that are called “language” of animals). The better some sense organ is developed the more often animals use it to transfer information.

The language of smells is probably the most widespread because animals that have appeared on Earth first still use it. Ants use aromatic substances to mark their paths. When bees find food, they soak the air and objects around them with their smell so that other bees can find the way to food quickly and not get lost.

Smell has a great importance for the meeting of male and female butterflies, insects, spiders. The mammals’ odorous glands are placed on different body parts. The antelopes mark with the adnexa secretions the branches of the trees and bushes that are located on the borders of their territory. Bears leave marks on the trees and stones with their claws and back, cats and dogs use urine for this purpose.

The smell language is very important for the animals-hunters. A dog and its relatives find their victims mostly with the help of sensory organs. The distance, at which a dog can smell a fowl, depends, first of all, on the direction and power of wind and soil moisture. Among wild animals wolves, jackals and foxes have sharp flair.

The language of sounds. The sound code of animals is very various. More often we can hear the “birds’ talk”. However, the birds’ song and the signals they make in different life situations differ. The sounds can have different meaning depending on their tonality. For example, domestic geese produce a brief intermittent gaggle what means alert; loud sounds followed by quiet barely distinguished ones mean that the birds are pleased. Angry geese sizzle and pull the neck forward. Birds learn to sing from their relatives. Finch or canary-birds that are grown in loneliness and have never heard the songs of older birds will never sing correctly.

Animals’ language vocabulary

The language of animals consists of several “words” that they use to transfer satisfaction, fear, terror, anger, attack and other emotional conditions. Animals that live in groups are more “talkative” in comparison with those that live alone. The reason is that they always have something to “discuss” in their group.

Among monkeys there are absolutely silent ones (gorillas) and very talkative (vocabulary of chimpanzee contains 35 sounds, the hamadryas baboons’ contains 40 sounds, gibbons can sing using “pure voices” similar to human).

Ocean mammals are not voiceless as well. Whales produce sounds. Dolphins also like to talk. They use sound signals of absolutely different frequencies. The ultrasounds they produce are usually used for echolocation purposes. Dolphins use whistling (infrasounds) and waves that human ear can perceive to communicate with each other. During the training dolphins learn to pronounce words and even separate brief phrases in human language very fast. The dolphins’ ability to imitate the sounds is even better than the parrots’. The dolphin called Elvar was learned to pronounce its name, the words “more”, “less”, “water splash”, “stop it” and others. Naturally, this is not a conscious human speech but sounds imitation. The saying “as quiet as fish” does not correspond to reality. Most fishes use the swim bladder to transfer sounds.

The language of gestures. The animal signals are not accompanied by gestures in rare cases. Sometimes, the “silent speech” is understood without any “words”. The scout bees transfer information in the following way: having flown to the hive, on honeycombs a bee makes fast circular movements and twists its body simultaneously. If food is very close to the hive, a bee makes movements that remind letter “O”; if it is farther, the movements remind number “8”. The dance rhythm and the frequency of body twists let other family members know how much far the food is and what its amount is. There are also other signals that define the direction to the food.

Gestures, movements and postures of birds in the mating season are various as well. Some birds make each other gifts (fish, seaweeds, berries, branches, etc.) that have symbolic meaning. At the same time they take different postures. Sometimes, birds take threatening posture when they try to scare an enemy. A male turkey spreads the feathers covering its tail in a fan-like display. During the fight some birds can say “I surrender”. The winner will not hurt the defeated bird, if they are the same species. In such cases, a jackdaw bends down, turns the head demonstrating its neck, which is one of the most vulnerable places on the body of the birds. A defeated seagull takes a spread-eagled posture with outstretched neck.

Tail plays a significant role in the language of gestures. If a dog twists its tail, it means it is happy and will not bite. Another case is when its tail is immovable and intense. It is dangerous to come close to such dog. When a dog is frightened, it flexes its tail as if saying: “I am afraid, do not touch me”. Cats also know how to talk with a tail. If a cat is in a good mood, it lazily moves its tail. If it is angry, the tail movements are sharp from side to side.

The tail of a roe deer is also a kind of indicator. It is white on the underside and when a roe runs away, it raises the tail up, demonstrating its white side to the goatlings. Thus it serves as a white indicator in the bushes and shows the way to the inexperienced goatlings. Do you have any related questions? Or does something else interest you? Ask our qualified specialist whatever you want and any moment.

The threatening gestures of animals are different. They demonstrate teeth, bending of the back, puffed up hair, hooves beating, bending down of the ears and so on. Angry gorillas beat their chest and look madly at the one that bothers them.

Many animals just like birds have obedience gestures. When a grown-up dog attacks a puppy, the puppy lies on its back and raises the paws. Demonstrating such posture a puppy is absolutely safe. Probably, this is one of the ways of species preservation, which has been developed in the process of evolution. Do you know what else is absolutely safe? Our essay editing service is safe and reliable:

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The language of colors and lights. With the help of colors animals hide from enemies, threaten them, mask themselves, come close to a victim without being noticed, “speak”.

Many birds and fishes get the brightest color during the mating season. However, there is no definite explanation of the phenomenon: some scientists believe that the bright male color is required to “capture” the females, others think that this is a weapon that scares an opponent away, or this is just a distinguishing feature. The fact that the color can serve as a “personality identifier” is doubtless. Newborn seagull babies demonstrated different reaction to a mother head model made of paper. If a beak of such model is yellow with a red point on the tip (as a real seagull has), then little birds demonstrate a sharp “pleading” reaction to it. If it is without such red point, then the reaction is three times weaker.

Different luminous organs and “flashlights” also perform various functions: beginning with the lighting of a hunting location and warning, and ending with the invitation for a date.

Many animals live in a troop or herd what gives many advantages in the food search process or in the process of defense from enemies. At the same time, such way of living has drawbacks: when many animals are gathered, the food exhausts faster, the possibility of diseases increases. In addition, animals become less careful relying on support of others. Animals cannot rely on each other sometimes. Luckily, there are reliable things that can provide you with 100% guarantees.

Biologically justified inequality appears in the groups of mammals. As a rule, such group has a leader that is a grown-up, strong and experienced animal, which can defend itself with horns, hooves and teeth. Looking for the best food surrounding, the best places to rest and sleep, the leader simultaneously ensures the best conditions for the group. The leader can be female in the groups of the wild deer, elephants, and wolves. However, the leader of gorillas, baboons, wild horses can be only male. In addition, read essay on gender inequality among people.

Each species group has its own hierarchy of relations. For example, in the monkeys’ families that consist of 15-20 members an experienced male control all actions of its group. Besides, in such group there are also one or several young males and females, grown-up females with babies or without them. There are almost no quarrels in such family.

An absolutely different structure is in a group of baboons, which usually consists of 50-70 monkeys. A group leader is a big strong male that uses its teeth every time. However, at the same time, it takes care of its “subordinates”, and when they need it, the leader is the first to face the danger. In spite of the fact that the hierarchy of gorillas is slightly expressed, in a group of baboons it is strictly preserved: when they go somewhere, they keep some certain order. Females with babies are in the middle, the leader with several males is behind them. In front of the females there are also several males. The danger signal is made by grown-up animals, which are placed at the most convenient places to observe their group. A troop of baboons is a dangerous force, and when they are together even a leopard does not risk attacking them.

Chimpanzees do not have constant groups. Every day some monkeys leave their groups, others come. Those that come are not forced to go away because chimpanzees always cling together. In the forest parts where they live the crying never stops.

It is impossible to answer how it is better for animals: to live together or separately. For someone it is better to live alone, for others together, and there are those that just cannot live separately. Most animals of different species treat each other either without interest or even with hostility. Nevertheless, there are animals-friends. Friendship can be mutual (hermit crab and anemone, for example) and one-party, i.e. useful only for one of the parties.

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Do animals have their own language of communication?

The Internet is filled with various videos that show talking animals. This is very amusing, of course, but let us be honest and admit that animals cannot speak. However, they can communicate in their own way. By the way, the globalization phenomenon is one of the factors that “create” talking animals. For more information read essays on globalization.

A dog marks its territory when it walks and other dogs know that it has been here. Monkeys and rodents warn their family members about danger. As we have already said, animals communicate with the help of postures, smells, sounds. However, can it be called language? In some cases yes, it can be called so. One of the most developed species in this relation is bees.

What is language?

An American linguist Charles Francis Hockett compared the communicative systems of animals with the languages of the world nations. As a result of the conducted research, the scientist distinguished 16 criteria, to each of which human languages that exist on the planet correspond. And only several criteria match the language of animals.

The most distinguishing language criteria are:

- discreteness;

- interchangeability;

- transferability;

- openness.

Discreteness is defined as the possibility to build millions of messages with the help of the same signs (signals). With the help of alphabet letters we can create a book or song lyrics (and our essay creator can edit it for you: However, the movements of a dog’s tail cannot be divided into meaningful components. This is a full signal that defines animal’s friendly mood. It does not matter how long or with what intensity a dog wags its tail. Nothing influences the initial meaning of the signal.

In the discreteness relation a great example is the signal system of gophers. For instance, when the gopher of Richardson notices danger in the air, it produces brief whistling. If the danger is on the ground, it produces trills. There is more, twitter, whistling and trills define different levels of danger. Combining different sound signals, a gopher can warn its family members about how much close a dangerous object is and transfer its fear level.

Interchangeability means that an author of a transferred message also should be able to receive suchlike signal. Any person can say “It is cold”. And there is nothing weird if someone replies “It is not hot at all”, if a dialogue occurs at the bus stop in winter, for example. The females of stickleback fish can inform their males that they are ready to “enter into an intimate relationship” demonstrating bloated with caviar stomach for this purpose. In its turn, a male changes its color demonstrating desire to have a sexual intercourse. In this case, fishes have managed to agree, but their talks will always remain very similar and primitive. A female will never change its color and a male will never have caviar in its body. Nevertheless, the gibbons’ language passes the interchangeability test. Any monkey can make other relatives happy informing that it has found food. And any monkey will understand: “Oh, apples!”.

The possibility to discuss the past and the future, and also the objects that are not in sight is called transferability. Communication of stickleback fish or movement of a dog’s tail does not satisfy this demand.

The openness quality supposes the possibility of a language speaker to understand absolutely new messages. Even if a wombat has never bitten you and a person, whom you tell “A wombat has bitten me”, has never seen or heard about it, there will not be any misunderstanding. The gibbons’ vocabulary is much limited in this relation. They cannot produce something brand new. Whatever your request is, we will always understand you as well. Our writers are opened and they are ready to respond to you anytime.

Charles Hockett about language of bees

Let us discuss language of bees a little bit more. Their communication system corresponds to the mentioned 4 criteria. Bees communicate using dances. The first scientist that studied their system of signals was a zoologist Karl von Frisch. He noticed that if one insect appeared next to a honey plate, in some time its family flew to the plate as well. Later Karl von Frisch discovered how the bees could exchange information. For this purpose he used the glass hive. This is how honey producers communicate: an insect that has been searching and found food attracts other relatives from the hive by moving the wings in a certain manner and spreading the food smell. Other bees memorize the smell. Later if a bee performs a circle dance, it means that food is close (within 100 meters). If it is far away, then a scout bee starts to twist its body showing the right direction. Other bees demonstrate amazing understanding of the laws of physics and spatial thinking. There are 11 parameters of the “bee dance”, thanks to which a bee can inform its relatives about the required place coordinates. For example, the rhythm, durability of a dance and sound impulses were discovered by Karl von Frisch. That is why he was awarded the Nobel Prize. If you are interested, it is advised to read the book “The Dancing Bees: An Account of the Life and Senses of the Honey Bee”. By the way, do you know that honey can be a good substitute for sugar? This information can be really useful for diabetics. You can learn more reading our informative essay on diabetes.

Even if animals do not speak in the usual for us sense, their systems of communication are much more complicated than they might seem first. This is not less amazing than the existence of immortal animals!

Animals that talk: truth or myth?

It is considered that only two languages exist in the world. They are language of people and language of animals. Although, people are always presented as the beings that have various languages, even within one racial ethnicity all people use the same language. It works for animals as well as. Such animals can imitate human speech are called talking animals. There are cases when they even can speak consciously with people using human speech.

Everyone knows that there are animals that can understand what people say, especially when it goes about pets: they always know when they are praised and when we scold them. However, a man does not understand the language of animals at all. Naturally, we can guess what an animal wants in certain cases, but it is absolutely different matter to understand their language.

Parrots, starlings, canary-birds, craws, magpies, anthropoid apes, pets (cats, dogs, horses, pigs), dolphins, seals and elephants are considered to be the most talkative animals. Some of them demonstrate developed communication skills, others imitate sounds that remind human speech, and some animals use the language of gestures.

  • An elephant named Koshik from the “Everland” zoo in Korea learned to say five words: annyong (hello), anja (sit), aniya (no), nuo (lie) и choah (good). The scientists claim that the elephant has learned them in 2004. The reason for this was the close and long contact of Koshik with people.
  • A worldwide famous parrot Alex could distinguish more than 50 objects. Also, the parrot’s vocabulary was about 100 words.
  • A pug Odi from the USA could pronounce only one phrase addressed to its loving owner “I love you”, but it was enough to become famous and get many fans.
  • Another pet, a cat Blacky, could say “I love you” and “I want to mama”.
  • A chimpanzee Lucy learned to speak with the help of the language of gestures. Some scientists claimed that she clearly realized what she was saying. She was brought up in a family as its full member: she ate sitting at the table, leaned etiquette rules and dressed on her own without help. Except the language of gestures, Lucy had vocabulary of 140 words.

The given examples clearly emphasize that animals have all features not just to imitate human speech, but also to use it according to its direct purpose. Maybe, the cases when animals can speak are not very often, but they happen. However, the cases when people can claim they can understand or speak the language of animals have not happened at all.

Human language: human editing

The language of animals issue is very interesting, is not it? At least, animals are lucky that they do not need to create academic written works, such as essays, research and terms works, thesis, dissertation papers, articles and any other text that may have relation to academic field. The good news is that you also do not need to deal with all of that because our online service is ready to do it for you. We will write, edit, revise, rewrite and proofread any your paper as quickly as you need it. Also, we will check your text for plagiarism and provide you with a complete report on the done work. From our side total privacy, high quality, required formatting and outline of paper are guaranteed. Our experts will do everything fast and neatly. You can get competent help of any kind on our website. Just email us or use online chat, specify your request, and soon you will get your perfect paper. Bonuses and discounts are included!

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