COUNCIL CHRONICLE – A team of British and German biologists reported that we are close to closing the communication gap between human and animal. In a recently published study, the team showed that animals, like humans, have strict communicational rules and they love ‘chatting.’
Communication Must Abide by Strict Rules, Researchers Noted
Because understanding what animals are has been a noble pursuit since the dawn of time, researchers from all over the world have attempted to find similarities between how animals and humans talk.
A noteworthy endeavor indeed, but not a futile one according to a joint team of biologists from Germany and the United Kingdom.
In a study, which was recently published in the journal Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the researchers noted that there are core similarities between how human and animals employ communication.
For instance, we humans dread interruption in a two-way conversation. Animals are not that different from this point a view. The team noted that while studying black-capped chickadees and European starlings, they’ve observed that the birds would fly away or stopped chirping if they were interrupted while ‘talking.’
Furthermore, based on their field-notes, it would appear that turn-taking is another common denominator between animals and humans.
As observed in songbirds, ‘replies’ come after 50 milliseconds, but they never overlap. Timing-wise, the British and German team noted subtle difference between species. Whereas sperm whales reply typically after 50 milliseconds, humans would speak their mind after 200 milliseconds.
Dr. Robin Kendrick, a professor of linguistics at York University’s Department of Language and Linguistic Science, declared that this breakthrough in animal communication could help him and his team to lay out a language framework – a system that allows scientist to compare and ultimately decipher signs and similarities in animal communication.
Image source: MaxPixel