Tag: animal communication

Stealthy Whales Cut the Chit-Chat to Hide from Hungry Predators

By Joseph Castro | July 25, 2011 4:46 pm

spacing is important

To avoid enemy crafts, naval submarines will often run silently, shutting down nonessential functions and cutting crew chatter. Now, an international team of researchers has found that Blainsville’s beaked whales also go into stealth mode to avoid being eaten by their mortal enemies, orcas.

While they normally click, buzz, and whistle to one another in the deep, the aquatic mammals stop all gab when they enter waters shallower than about 550 feet, presumably because killer whales typically hunt in shallow water. This is surprising considering that the beaked whales spend only 40 percent of their lives in the deeper waters—scientists expected that the animals would need frequent communication to maintain social ties.

Makes you wonder: How often do the whales leave the deep to get away from all the gossiping?

[Read more at BBC.]

Image: NOAA

Jungle Cat to Potential Prey: Nobody Here but Us Monkey Babies

By Joseph Calamia | July 14, 2010 1:06 pm

margay-catOne pied tamaran turns to another: Do you hear that infant monkey call?

That’s one weird-sounding baby, the other responds. Shrugging their shoulders, the pair goes to investigate. Surprise! It’s not a baby monkey at all, but a margay cat doing impersonations. Then it’s up to the monkeys to escape becoming a snack.

In the domain of jungle tricks, monkeys usually take center-stage. They may give false alarms to steal bananas or (shamelessly) carry an infant to strike up a conversation. But the above fake-out scene, documented in 2005 by Wildlife Conservation Society researchers, hinted that at least one feline is giving monkeys a dose of their own medicine.

Read More

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