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whales trying to communicate with humans?
Posted: 05 November 2012 07:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Why am I constantly surprised by non-human animals?


I heard this on NPR yesterday. The trainer had been working with the elephant and it now says 5 words in Korean. The question is is this parroting or does the animal really know what the words really mean? The reporter also stated that the animal only had contact with humans and may be trying to relate to them somehow. Similar to dolphins making human speech sounds.

 

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Posted: 05 November 2012 07:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I wouldn’t be surprised if the elephant understands the words, they’re pretty smart animals. Heck, even dogs can understand some human words. Have you ever said “supper” around a Dachshund? They go crazy and race for their food bowls.

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Posted: 05 November 2012 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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True Darron, but really, how fast can a dash hound race on those stumpy little legs?!

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Posted: 05 November 2012 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 05 November 2012 07:18 AM

True Darron, but really, how fast can a dash hound race on those stumpy little legs?!

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Not very. That’s handy when they get out the front door and take off down the street. A typical teenager can chase them down and bring them back. Are elephants as stubborn as Dachshunds?

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Posted: 05 November 2012 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I doubt it when it comes to food! A good friend of mine had two of the biggest Dachunds I have ever seen and they both weighed over 30lbs but could make a beeline for their dishes when it was feeding time. Sounded like a herd of elephants coming down his hallway. BTW, how’s the voting going down your way? We’re frantic here!

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Posted: 05 November 2012 07:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I voted early and only had to wait about tow minutes. Austin has opened voting so anyone can vote in any precinct, which should make it more convenient for people taking time off from work to vote. We’ll see how it goes. I’m resigned to Republicans winning just about everything in Texas. At least Superstorm Sandy has given me a window to talk about climate change with people who would not listen previously.

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Posted: 05 November 2012 07:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I voted early and only had to wait about tow minutes. Austin has opened voting so anyone can vote in any precinct, which should make it more convenient for people taking time off from work to vote. We’ll see how it goes. I’m resigned to Republicans winning just about everything in Texas. At least Superstorm Sandy has given me a window to talk about climate change with people who would not listen previously.


The storm could also be a plus for Obama due to his positive handling of it but we’ll see Tomorrow. There are poll watchers everywhere and if there’s any hanky-panky it’s going to be here. Both parties have them, even lawyers. I’ve never seen voting this intense.


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Posted: 05 November 2012 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 05 November 2012 07:12 AM

Why am I constantly surprised by non-human animals?


I heard this on NPR yesterday. The trainer had been working with the elephant and it now says 5 words in Korean. The question is is this parroting or does the animal really know what the words really mean? The reporter also stated that the animal only had contact with humans and may be trying to relate to them somehow. Similar to dolphins making human speech sounds.

 

Cap’t Jack

The interesting thing to me is 1) an elephant can reproduce some explicit human vocalizations, and 2) the elephant may find the social interactions of the trainer appealing enough to do so.

But remember, the various components of verbal behavior are learned due to their function.

Of the 5 words that the elephant mimics, none would seem to be particularly functional for the elephant to learn to use to speak to humans (other than to generally get more attention) except, possibly the word “no” (if he were often presented with things or situations that he did not want).  And, also, perhaps the elephant could learn to use the word “good” (another of the 5 words that he can mimic) to show his trainer when something meets his (the elephant’s) approval.

As far as understanding, we could only know by his listener responding behavior. e.g., If someone told him to lie down, and he did.

But for an elephant, to give the command “lie down” (which is one of the words he can mimic) is not a very useful communication to use, because there is no reason for him to want a human to lie down, and no human would likely lie down when an elephant told them to anyway.

[ Edited: 05 November 2012 08:06 PM by TimB ]
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Posted: 07 November 2012 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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i’m not claiming nothing, just saying…

it seems to me communicating is tough enough when people relate and have the same issues but don’t share the same language.
Such a trying to get food or make business arrangements when you can’t understand each other.

But when I think of the totally alien world reality of a whale to that of humans.  Well, jeez seems to me a whale wouldn’t have a clue what to say to us even if it wanted to.

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Posted: 07 November 2012 11:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 07 November 2012 08:47 AM

i’m not claiming nothing, just saying…

it seems to me communicating is tough enough when people relate and have the same issues but don’t share the same language.
Such a trying to get food or make business arrangements when you can’t understand each other.

But when I think of the totally alien world reality of a whale to that of humans.  Well, jeez seems to me a whale wouldn’t have a clue what to say to us even if it wanted to.

That’s true. I think that we would have to make some educated guesses about what a whale might want or have to say to humans, or perhaps set up contingencies such that we can expect the whale to have something to say to us.

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Posted: 07 November 2012 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I don’t know about the difficulties of communication.  It depends on the areas.  For example, if we presented our history of philosophical ideas or mathematics, with their brains that contain many more neurons than ours, they may be able to come up with significant contributions.

Of course I can imagine a downside with some strongly theistic researchers who try to discuss god with the whales, then kill them when the whales ask something like, “are you out of your minds?”  LOL

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Posted: 07 November 2012 06:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Another little marvel of evolution, the clownfish. They can live inside a deadly animal, communicate with each other, and change sex when circumstances require.  Now tell me about a more progressive society than than….. cheese

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49733724/ns/technology_and_science-science/

[ Edited: 07 November 2012 06:09 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 08 November 2012 12:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Write4U - 07 November 2012 06:07 PM

Another little marvel of evolution, the clownfish. They can live inside a deadly animal, communicate with each other, and change sex when circumstances require.  Now tell me about a more progressive society than than….. cheese

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49733724/ns/technology_and_science-science/

Their communication does not seem very impressive.  It basically seems to be “I’m dominant.” or “I’m submissive”.  But taking advantage of the anemone for protection is a neat trick, as is changing gender when necessary.

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Posted: 08 November 2012 02:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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I’ve often thought that some animals are just as aware as we are.  Like whales. In which case, I doubt they would be trying to communicate with us. Because they would know they couldn’t.
So that’s what I think.  I bet whales are just as aware and intelligent as humans, they are just in another platform.  We can’t break through to each other.  We just hunted whales down to near extinction and lit our homes with their rendered fat.
In any event, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving side of a whale rant. They’re probably really angry.

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