People are not the only ones who want to have a chat every now and then. According to a new study, which the journal Royal Society B: Biological Sciences recently published, from the largest to the smallest, animals also communicate all around us, even if we cannot understand them. According to scientists, animals have what’s known as two-way conversations, the same way humans do. You may have heard the low rumblings of elephants, the chirps of birds, the whistles of dolphins and even that rap-like sounds that frogs make. Yes, we might not understand them, but they take turns when communicating too, just like us.
Studies of birds have been done for over 50 years, yet nobody managed to discover the secrets of animal communication. These direct comparisons between certain species have not been done right mainly because of scientists’ lack of communication, as ironic as that might sound. The key feature of animal and human communication? Timing, experts say. It seems that some species are very impatient, waiting less than 50 milliseconds before “replying” back during a conversation. Sperm whales were the slowest talkers, waiting about two seconds before “replying”.
The secrets of animal communication
As for humans, we are something in the middle. Usually, we tend to wait about 200 milliseconds before answering in a conversation. What’s even more interesting is that animals hate to be interrupted too. It seems that is considered rude in their world too. For example, European starlings did something called “overlap avoidance” each time they were interrupted.
According to experts, when this occurred, individuals either suddenly became silent or flew away. This could mean that they consider it a violation of the rules of turn-talking too. Dr. Robin Kendrick, one of the authors of the study, says that the next step now is to conduct comparisons between species.
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