California ground squirrel
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
We have often pointed out that the ability to communicate is not what separates humans from animals. In previous programs we have marveled at the range of animal communication and how it reflects the intelligence and genius of the Creator. Researchers in animal communication have been no less amazed as they have now begun to learn that many animals actually have languages and that they can invent new words to communicate new dangers to each other and to their young.
In 1914 a hunter in South Africa was commissioned to exterminate a herd of 140 elephants. He managed to kill all but 20. Those 20 became so skilled at avoiding him that he had to give up the hunt. Even though the park became a preserve in 1930 – with the elephants protected – elephants on the preserve today, four generations since the hunt ended, are unusually wary of humans. Even young elephants are quickly taught to avoid humans.
Ground squirrels have two distinct alarm calls, depending upon what is after them. If a ground squirrel hears the alarm call that warns of a bird of prey, he will dive for the nearest protection. But if the alarm signals a digging predator like a badger, ground squirrels will pass nearby burrows to hide in one that has a back door escape route.
The Bible tells us that all things were made through the Word – the Son of God. Therefore, we should not be surprised to learn that many creatures besides humans have the ability to communicate very specific messages to each other.
Notes: Gould, Carol Grant. 1983. "Out of the mouths of beasts." Science 83, Apr., p. 69.
Photo: Courtesy of Benefactor123. Licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.
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