• Question: In the future will humans ever be able to talk with animals?

    Asked by 367mndp43 to Iain, Heidi, Emma, Carl on 15 Nov 2018. This question was also asked by 787mndp44.
    • Photo: Emma McEntee

      Emma McEntee answered on 15 Nov 2018:

      I talk to animals now! When I lived at home I used to have conversations with my dog, cat, rabbit and guinea pig all the time πŸ™‚ They were very good listeners πŸ˜‰

    • Photo: Iain Staniland

      Iain Staniland answered on 15 Nov 2018:

      Emma is right you can commincate with animals and they can communicate with us, Even between humans a lot of communication is “non-verbal” that is we use body language. For example Dogs and Cats are very good at telling us when they are Hungry or when they are scared.
      Not all animals use sounds to communicate some use smells and some even use light (bio-luminescence like fireflies, or deep sea animals)

    • Photo: Carl Heron

      Carl Heron answered on 15 Nov 2018:

      Interesting question.

      Our very anatomy has evolved to accommodate and enrich our speech. Many of the sounds that we make, particularly vowel sounds, cannot be made by other apes, let alone other animals. Their throats are too shallow and their voice boxes too high. In the ancestry lineage of human evolution, the adaptation of our throat anatomy to facilitate speech (as we know it) occurred quite recently.

      However, we already know that lots of other animals communicate with each other using vocal communication. Further, we’re beginning to learn that other ape and monkey species use distinct words and phrases with unambiguous meanings. In other words, they have vocabulary, which is among the basic requirements for language development.

      If my dog spoke to me though all she would say is ‘where’s my food?’, ‘when are we going for a walk’ and ‘I want to go to the toilet (again)’………

    • Photo: Heidi Gardner

      Heidi Gardner answered on 16 Nov 2018:

      Haha I talk to animals all the time now. I’m pretty convinced that dogs in particular know what you’re saying too – they seem to respond accordingly πŸ™‚ Another thing is that communication isn’t just about talking, there is so much that’s non-verbal that I think we can communicate really well with animals now. In the future it’d be cool to be able to translate animal noises too!