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Animal Communication

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  • Animal Communication

    What do people here know (or otherwise suspect/have a feeling about) animal communication? Either through experience, reading, or actual scientific study.

  • #2
    lilting, ascending notes are read by the subject as friendly or affirming
    brusque. descending notes are read as warning or aggressive
    saw an interesting show on this on PBS a decade ago
    "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Carter Kaplan
      What do people here know (or otherwise suspect/have a feeling about) animal communication? Either through experience, reading, or actual scientific study.
      The only things I know, I learned from Old MacDonald. EIEIO.

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      • #4
        My cat has an extremely efficient way of communicating his need/want for food to me...

        He comes up and digs his claws in which ever part of my anatomy happens to be closest to paw.

        After 9 years he's almost got me completely trained to do his bidding.

        Mind you, I'm still holding out for minimum wage and union recognition.
        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by David Mosley
          My cat has an extremely efficient way of communicating his need/want for food to me...

          He comes up and digs his claws in which ever part of my anatomy happens to be closest to paw.

          After 9 years he's almost got me completely trained to do his bidding.

          Mind you, I'm still holding out for minimum wage and union recognition.
          I think alot of animal communication is non-verbal (non-oral/aural?). Puff up the tail. Arch the back. Lay back the ears. Raise the butt :) Dig in claws. Pee on foot. Hump the leg.

          Tony

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tvissoc
            I think alot of animal communication is non-verbal (non-oral/aural?). Puff up the tail. Arch the back. Lay back the ears. Raise the butt :) Dig in claws. Pee on foot. Hump the leg.

            Tony
            Hey tvissoc, you forgot 'crap on leg under duvet while owner sleeps'.
            No, really, it happened. I closed the door leading to its' litter tray one night. You gotta love cats' sense of humour.....
            He's well smoked

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            • #7
              My dog communicates with me vocally all the time. It's actually quite ammusing to listen to as some of the sounds she makes can actually sound quite close to human speach.

              When I come home from shopping she always races up and checks to see what I have in the grocery bags and if I tell her 'Sorry mate I didn't bring you anything' she will let her dissapointment known with a soft low pitched growl and lower her head an look up at me with sad eyes.

              After 11 years together she understands just about most of what I say to her and I can understand most of what she is trying to tell me through the inflection of her sounds and her manersims.

              The neighbours get a kick out of listening to her and myself sitting on the back porch having a 'conversation'.
              My signature is

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              • #8
                The following is a True Story.

                About 16 years ago, when I still lived at home (in between attending University) I was alone in my parent's house when everyone was out for the day. I was on the PC working on an essay/dissertation - oh okay, I was probably playing RPG games or something, but I could have been working... look, that's not the point.

                Anyway, I'd been busy on the PC for a couple of hours when all of a sudden I heard a small child saying "Hallo" somewhere in the house. "Hallo, hallo, hallo" the child kept going. I couldn't think were this sound could be coming from. I went out into the hallway to check the front door, it was closed, but I could still hear this child calling "Hallo, hallo, hallo".

                I went to the backdoor, and although the voice was a little fainter, the back door was also shut and locked. I remember thinking 'This is very weird'. We lived in a semi-detached, but the people next-door were elderly and didn't have small children around. Obviously I was concerned that a child might have somehow found their way in (perhaps they were lost?) but I couldn't see how that was possible.

                Eventually, I tried following the sound to see where it was coming from, and climbing to the top of the stairs I found, sitting on the landing, one of our cats, mewing: "'Allo, 'allo, 'allo".

                Alright, it wasn't saying "Hallo" exactly, but my god, unless you listened very carefully it was easy to see how you might confuse the sound.

                *Rumours that I later sold elements of this story to Stephen Moffat for use in his Doctor Who story 'The Empty Child' are just wishful thinking.
                _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by David Mosley
                  The following is a True Story.

                  Alright, it wasn't saying "Hallo" exactly, but my god, unless you listened very carefully it was easy to see how you might confuse the sound.

                  *Rumours that I later sold elements of this story to Stephen Moffat for use in his Doctor Who story 'The Empty Child' are just wishful thinking.
                  We once named a stray cat we found, Raoul, because she said "Raoul" all the time.

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                  • #10
                    I've no scientific evidence for it, but I have always had an instant affinity for kitty-cats. Kitties that other folks think are total b*stards just take to me immediately. I have three now, and they all have their distinct personalities, likes and dislikes, but they all communicate with me in their own ways. Not that we can discuss observations like Jhary-a-Conel and Whiskers, and we can't exactly debate the relative worth of Emmanuel Kant's thinking versus that of John Locke or Claude Rousseau, but I certainly know when little Captain Kirk is jealous of the newcomer, Yisselda, and needs love and reassurance that he's still the baby of the house. Big old Hermannpanzerkatze only communicates two things: A constant desire for food [he is 33 lbs, and it is a losing proposition trying slimming him down], and just pure, unadulterated love.

                    It is interesting, on another point, that now scientists are beginning to understand that primates and cetaceans have basic "language", and I would bet a dollar to a donut hole that in later years we will find they have all been talking about us behind our backs for aeons...

                    And, David, are you sure the cat wasn;t saying, " 'Allo, 'Allo, dis ees Nighthawk, are you receeving, ovehr"?
                    "My candle's burning at both ends, it will not last the night;
                    But ah my foes and oh, my friends, it gives a lovely light" - Edna St Vincent Millay

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                    • #11
                      Cats see narrowed eyes as a smile and wide open eyes as confrontational. Something many people who have no affinity with cats don't seem to understand. There's a whole range of expressions and body language you can use, especially for domestic pets, which help smooth the wheels of interaction! People who anthropomorphise animals usually don't have a clue about what the animal's trying to 'say'. They make far greater efforts to adapt than we do, generally speaking.
                      I find it amusing that bug-eyed tentacled intelligent monsters from space might actually be living a few feet from some of us!
                      I suppose if you kill to eat, that's okay, but we have a place looking directly out over the Med and often see guys in flippers and masks using spearguns to 'catch' octopii and then discard the corpses (sometimes still alive). That disgusts me.

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                      Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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                      • #12
                        I suspect that animals have some kind of communication skills, even though I know it is far different from human communication. Cats certainly have a form of communication (or something like it), as Mike points out.

                        One of our cats treats us as if we are cats. He uses everything I have read about as cat "messages"--head bumping, marking, grooming, posture, eye position--to try and talk to us. We used to say we weren't sure if he thinks we are cats, or if he thinks he is a person. Of course, we know that no cat would reduce himself to mere human status.

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                        • #13
                          To my three, I'm the biggest kitty in the house. I also happen to be the only kitty smart enough to be able to get the food out.

                          You'd be surprised to know that even aquarium fish can communicate, on a very basic level. The cichlid species are know to have quite distinct personalities, and I have seen them gather at one spot in the tank and stare out in unison to indicate it's food time. I used to have an aquarium business for about ten years so I've spent more time with the ichthyans than most folks, and can "understand" them pretty well. But hey, at least the smell washed off!
                          "My candle's burning at both ends, it will not last the night;
                          But ah my foes and oh, my friends, it gives a lovely light" - Edna St Vincent Millay

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Perssonicus
                            To my three, I'm the biggest kitty in the house. I also happen to be the only kitty smart enough to be able to get the food out.

                            You'd be surprised to know that even aquarium fish can communicate, on a very basic level. The cichlid species are know to have quite distinct personalities, and I have seen them gather at one spot in the tank and stare out in unison to indicate it's food time. I used to have an aquarium business for about ten years so I've spent more time with the ichthyans than most folks, and can "understand" them pretty well. But hey, at least the smell washed off!
                            We have a Jack Dempsy that seems to beg for food at the side of the tank while wagging his tail. He (she?) gets fussy with his tank arrangement and moves the plastic plants around with his mouth. He will lay on his side and fan rocks out of the way too. Funny fish.

                            Tony

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                            • #15
                              Maybe it's a sign of the equality in our household that female cats tend to identify with the alpha female (Linda) and male cats with the alpha male (me). Our big cat Betty will ONLY talk to Linda -- quite an elaborate range of sounds. When I try to talk to her, she turns her head away. She doesn't want to talk to me and never does. Bill on the other hand will talk to anyone... But that's Siamese for you.

                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                              The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                              Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                              The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                              Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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