Prairie Dogs Talk a Sophisticated Talk

Published by PETA.

nps.gov / CC
Prairie Dogs

Take a sound bite out of this recently discovered linguistic marvel: The barking language of prairie dogs may just be the most complicated language of any animal. Con Slobodchikoff—a biology professor at Northern Arizona University—studied their sounds very closely and found that the animals have different “words” to describe each of their many predators and that a single bark can convey information about the size, type, color, and location of an attacker. Slobodchikoff also discovered that, just as we all have distinct voices, every prairie dog has a unique tonal identity.

Um, first we found out that insects are tiny geniuses, then we learned that monkeys are sticklers for grammar, and now we’ve got these vocal powerhouses (on the prairie)—does Mensa admit animals?

Written by Logan Scherer

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