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Wednesday, September 26, 2018


I’ve always been fascinated by the ability of animals to communicate with each other and even more so with humans. It seems logical that animals would have some way of communicating within their own species. We constantly see examples of them working together, and in order to do this, they must have some way of communicating with each other.

For example, all you have to do is observe a flock of birds flying in “V” formation. Watch as the leader slips back to allow another bird to take the lead. How do they designate the next bird to fly point? Instinct? I don’t think so. They must be communicating in some way. Otherwise chaos would ensue with birds constantly flying into one another.

We know that dolphins speak to each other. Whales, too. And some gorillas have been taught to communicate with humans via sign language. None of this is new. However, the other day I stumbled upon a news clip that claimed chimpanzees speak with accents. Not only that but these accents are learned.

In 2010 nine chimps were moved from The Netherlands to the Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland. The chimps originally used a high-pitched noise to ask for apples. However, after living with the Scottish chimps for a while, the Dutch chimps began to use a low grunt to ask for apples, the same sound made by the Scottish chimps. Check out the video to see the difference between the Dutch and Scottish accents.

Manifesto aka Mephisto aka Devil Dog
Those of you familiar with the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series know that I share my home with Manifesto, my mother-in-law’s communist French bulldog (I refer to him as Mephisto or Devil Dog); my mother’s Persian cat who is named for the Russian Empress Catherine the Great; and Ralph, the Shakespeare-spouting African Grey parrot I inherited from Great-aunt Penelope Periwinkle. They all communicate in their own unique ways—both with each other and the two-legged mammals of the family.

Catherine the Great
I’ve read novels where the authors have assigned points of view to the pets in their books. I’ve never gone that far, probably because doing so would move me from writing reality-based fiction into the realm of fantasy. Even so, the animals in my books definitely have their say.

Ralph, the Shakespeare-quoting parrot

Find out more about all the books in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series here


Angela Adams said...

Catherine the Great looks annoyed that she's having her picture taken (smile!).


LOL! Catherine the Great is always annoyed.