Support Provided ByLearn More

NOVA Wonders What Are Animals Saying?

Can we crack the code of animal communication?

Premiered: Runtime: 52:57Topic: Tech + EngineeringTech & Engineering
Premiered on PBS

From singing whales and squeaking bats to thumping spiders and clicking dolphins, the world is filled with the exotic sounds of our fellow creatures. What are they saying? While we believe language sets us apart, some animals demonstrate they can learn our language—like Chaser the dog, who recognizes hundreds of words, and Kanzi the bonobo, who appears to have a sophisticated understanding of spoken English. But can we decode their own communications? NOVA Wonders follows researchers around the globe who are deciphering an amazing array of clues that reveal how animals share information critical to their survival. Will we one day be able to write the bat dictionary or decode the hidden sign language of chimps? And what can these findings tell us about the roots of our own language?

More Ways to Watch

Support Provided ByLearn More

Explore More

All Extras

National corporate funding for NOVA Wonders is provided by Draper. Major funding for NOVA Wonders is provided by the National Science Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and public television viewers, with additional funding for “Are We Alone?” and “What’s the Universe Made Of?” provided by the John Templeton Foundation.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1420749. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.