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Cosmic Queries – Interspecies Communication

2020-09-14 | 🔗

Will we ever be able to talk to animals? Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-host Chuck Nice, and marine mammal scientist Diana Reiss, PhD, answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on animal and interspecies communications. 

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: https://www.startalkradio.net/show/cosmic-queries-interspecies-communication/

Thanks to our Patrons Caralee Wahab, Tracy S. Skrabut, Ivan Perez, Joshua Torres, Garrett Jay, Leon Galante, Tyler Miller, and Pat Mallon for supporting us this week.

Image Courtesy of Diana Reiss.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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some sectors and companies have been more successful than others are competing in the digital economy find out through the winners and losers are as we live and work through a global pandemic track. The digital workplace revolution with the financial times read more at F t dot com, slash new agenda. Welcome start all your place in the universe where sires pop culture dartle begin right now, there's been start off guard merely restoration. Your personal astrophysicist are where's the director of Negro Cities, Hayden Planetarium, part of the American Museum of Natural history right here in Manhattan, As cosmic worries, you know who my coast is Jack, what's
Neil for being a mere and arms reach of digital arms, regional arms race, yes, exert, I feel your zeros and one's kyar touching my pay now very base to zeros and one another topic is today Inter Species communication, yes TAT S, creepy wilds am it's beautiful. Gorgeous not not as gorgeous as inter species dating, but had what he going to do, what you going to do. I don't know what that means, What we have is one of the world's experts on this, whose professor psychology at Hunter College and is in the animal behavior and comparative psychology doctoral programmes at the graduate centre of Cutie this the University of New York, the one and the only Professor Diana Reese Diana, welcome to start off well high thanks. For having me today,
our backyard. The whole time we ve been haven't start talk, and will you been huge is right? There you been talking to other animals. I've been, as did the steady, your own, damn species. They hang up, I'm hanging out with dolphins so that we get the audience to know you a little better. You have a TED talk with share the platform with others who were trying to create something big and what was that there are back in two thousand and thirteen. My three colleagues we sat by partners on this were Peter Gabriel Musician and visionary then serve. Who is the co founder of the CO father of the Inn? that's right. The co founder of the internet and new version felt who's. The director of the MIT Centre forbids the items you no matter what you guys talked about in their tibia decision.
You have the power, knowledge and wisdom to make it happen. Gas we ever met noticed there. There are great good for people to work with and together with with, but we have. This idea was actually Peter Gabriel, who started this idea and then approached the three of us, and the idea is: how can we use technology and are our new technologies, along with ideas that we have to bridge the gap in terms of communication with other animals? We share this planet with lots of other species. Obviously they have brains, they're, all communicating. We just can't cracks their coats, so one of the ideas behind the interstices internet is coming up with new interfaces so that we can communicate with these other species creating artificial com.
Odds or devices that allow them a voice is the is the simplest way of saying it, and then we can use these shared codes to communicate. The other aspect of it is is finding new ways to decode or to decipher the signals that they're all using amongst themselves. So that's the basics. Idea so with when you have to define communication first, because I mean when you talk about all these different species was just take, for instance, some insects, their languages chemical. So you know whether what is language? What is communication shock? You just now the big question and that the thing that's under such debate. So the question is: what are we? The only species They use a kind of communication that we say is the language we use signals that are meaningful in that refer to things in the environment. We call those referential signals. So when I point to an apple I'm using this,
symbol using a word that doesn't look anything like an apple when it refers to that, and we can use that in a shared way to communicate now bees the little bees were actually the first species. In which that someone actually decoded some of their communication and got a Nobel Prize for it, this is a long time ago. That's how that's how they are ready to work at the last year. Thanks for letting me no, the priest work. Ok, that's what you're saying it shut, but it's true. They their wiggle their shake their bodies. They do this waggle dance, that's right and they communicate not only where food is outside their hive, but the distance from the hive.
And they believe it or not. There is little bees with just did. I was a little brain. Are communicating changes in the location of the food base and they have to track the distance of the food from the sun, but guess what, as you know, what's happening with relatives? Nurses rotating, so they just the sun is moving them, and they have to track that and they keep that in their communication. It's amazing. It's amazing these little bees. Do that. That's why they're always following party be happy Diana. You literally, I wrote the book on some of this about ten years ago. Have the title the dolphin in the mirror, exploring dolphin mine and saving dolphin lives, so your professional careers invested and try enough now Dolphins have way bigger brains, then do bees. So presumably,
shows them because of whatever similarities you can. The line with humans. Yeah I mean it's interesting, my background, believe it or not was then sailor. I was actually a set designer from many visitor fatter I thank you, We won't go there in too much detail. If I was always really fascinating by animals and I had an academic background. I wound up taking extra courses going back from my phd and I was right. In about whales getting slaughtered about these were the wet wailing in general I already knew I wonder, to study animal behavior and I started looking up what we knew about whales and dolphins and at the time it wasn't there wasn't that much known it was in the way.
Seventies and I never watched flipper. I wasn't flipper values to watch lassie at the more I learned about dolphins, I thought wow. These are really big, brained complex animals and we don't know very much about them. They seem to be complex in terms of these societies in the seas. We didn't know much about their communication systems, What can have these big, magnificent brains? What are they doing? Robert and hope they are bigger? our brains, but their bodies are bigger than our bodies. So when we think about brain size and think about it relative to body size, it's called the get ready for this one, the insulation quotient or eat. You
in size relative to body size and our bring the number it is that we should pay the berry, wait right procedures we otherwise be our body weight to bodies the body weight, so our brains are seven times the size they would need to be to run. A body of our size papers were think, we're talking about body, body, weight, body, the body weight and the brain way. Ok, the brain size that way, so our brain is seven times think about it as our brain being seven times the size of its to run a body of our size, dolphins. They have a brain, that's about four and a half of four point, two or four point three. If you want to get really specific times the size, it needs to be to run a body of that size. Most animals are have the value of one it. Their brain is just the right side.
As to write and run a body of that size. Ok, Jumpsome at map metabolism sought so those but heads one star trek the guys with the big giant, but heads there, really smart, rare, fairly modest in the universe, is really great grants, okay, so yeah, so it gives us a sense. Now. If we look at our absolute whip, we must think about brains, though it will still a huge mystery in
of what this with a recipe is for being more intelligent and more to have more intelligent? Is it the number of neurons? Is it the organization of a brain? Is it you how how how it's all connected so so still a mystery, but it turns out that if we look at of animals that show complex social interactions and have a lot of complexity in their behaviour, they tend to be these animals that have these really high values in each you. So those animals are animals like US cetaceans, which are whales and dolphins, the great apes elephants. I'm with us humans and then, if you know it varies, when you look at that simple scale, Amistad Rachel Group was better able to really smart. Its report was greatly regret. What did you get started in this right around the time when dolphins were getting trapped in tuna nets and with as a whole, huge outcry for the fishing industry about this?
I started a little bit before that. I I've started about. I started studying dolphins in the early eighties. They actually than the late seventies, but I actually worked on that project to try to stop dolphins from getting caught the tuna nets. That was a big issue. As a scientist, I do science for learning the basic basic science, but then I think it's really important to apply that to do what we call translational science and apply it to really help protect those animals in conservation and welfare and stop these horrible situation Why didn't anyone try to protect the tuna somehow whose ok eyes opened a net forward? Dauphines I'm not delicious, well, very serious fire, charging species ist here, you're saying: oh, protect the dolphin eat the tuna there, both big fish in the ocean and where and your divided it up and you ve showing pray princes,
what's going on here, you're making really good points still so personal d. Often are mammals. We know that and what we know about doll, That's right now and I'm not gonna say we should be protecting fish species because it's really important to protect all species on the planet, so they can continue to survive. I want to say that right up, but with dolphins, these are large, brained, heavy social self, aware, meaning self aware and socially aware, animals that feel pain and they can suffer and they were treated in this way in the town. That's where they get stuff, they would be. Somebody round are trapped round. They re Voice of Africa for air. They I'm like regular like us and again it was. It was just a horrendous situation, I just you to put your admitting that year, you you, you more highly value mammals then non mammal vertebrate. Now
I guess that can dolphins Nazi found where we're gonna go in their favour, is not a thing, and it should be a thing about the purpose of this simple Cellared, Father Mayo heap all in certain countries are still eating dolphin. Oh, no, I'm eating well. Even now, it is absolutely so in Japan. I dont know if you saw the film the code, it! Why? I prefer my list. It's on my most important, didn't Wanna Academy award for Documentary its
I've got a man running. If it didn't, we don't know it won the Academy award the best documentary. I worked on that some of the science adviser and I is actually the person they told the director about the situation, because many of my colleagues and I have been trying to stop these horrible, Dr Hans in Japan, where dolphins are herded h, e r D data heard herded using a method where they create at acoustic barrier. It's called a co me and they bang on pipes and they scare the dolphins into this cove when they're the and afterwards there slaughtered some of the dolphins are still taken to specific aquariums. Most aquariums in the world absolutely opposed this and have been working to stop it, but some aquariums in Japan, China and a few other countries production are there dolphins from these, Dr Hans and these animals are then taken and the rest of the group is killed and their killed absolutely in the most inhumane matter. You can imagine this
and be killed it all. But when you see how their killed everybody, who would see this, we want to stop it and it merits let's say they found a humane way to kill them, you're still preferring to protect them I've of fellow mammals there fellow non mammal vertebrates. I rise as a merry: Let me say this as a marine mammal scientist I feel like it. I need to have a voice in this political arena and, yes, I think that for dolphins they shouldn't- I can say clearly these animals a protection they should be killed. In fact, if I am a green tuna scientists there, we took it out there at the science conference, because I want to protect my tuna right, and I am determined to scientists loses every time. Tat is less well that's what let's try this one? What if we could make sure that the population of what they were conserving tuna populations and when they are captured its
and the most humane way possible. That's the win, win sobering, another guy for that period of time to do it yet tough. So I think we have to be you mean, if we're still eating animals and I think that's really critical sector across the spectrum of across the spectrum. Yes, absolutely as a marine mammal scientist, I speak out about the dolphins, because that's where my area of expertise is and I really vote for all Adam. I would, rather than nobody's eating any animals to tell you the truth. I that's what by big pushes but Did you have to deal with the people want to protect plants? None of that many years ago I worked at the wildlife conservation society in a wheeler five zoos and I ran the animal enrichment programme and I was running a dolphin research lead there and my husband used to joke. He said can't have anybody she works with over for dinner because you can eat anything either. They work with that animal feed, glad that their cultivating so there's nothin
just at the live off the air by letter. At the best, it's very correct you can do what George, I think we don't have time in this house for to enable start right up in second too Two questions lined up was adamant in an earlier date You got a mother okay. So when we come back more with behaviour animals. Psychologist Diana Reese and Chuck nice bring in the questions will be right back Listen, you know you won't stop working until you reach our goals and neither will w g you it's why we ve created an online university for people who ambition? Never rest. W G use innovative companies,
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We're back startle cosmic wearies covers juggler, tweeting airs Chuck nice comic. Still. Thank you, Sir COM guess. Art are expert today on Intra species communication, Diana reached a hare welcome back to start talk thanks and we got questions for you solicited from our fan base all across the media platforms, so check what you have ok. Well, of course you know we always drop the patriarch patron because they support is financially. Quite frankly, pay! Yes, yes, there's no better support; better support, Is no better nation, then a nation
away, Leslie Car Marston from patriotic hey thanks for the kind of weird hashtag seek you inner species, and how could we use the periodic table of elements and chemistry to communicate with life? That demonstrates the capacity for the classification of potentially intelligent as an alphabet person, man, woman, camera tv might be considered, I am not sure that where he earns sought, so let me let me see if I can read were that question I We have a periodic table down, is highly organized achievement of Our understanding of the nature of matter materials in the world if we have an alien and we want to communicate with them to use
the value in organizing information in this similar way. If information that we overlap with them so that we can possibly come to a common vocabulary, is it does, I think that's what they're asking there is it I mean it's jacket. If we use their per tabled as our own sort of refugees- that's that's our preference yeah right. What that means is that I don't know, I'm gonna follow up with a question, but there I guess it's more for me away Would that be the same? Every I mean the stuff would be. The everything we understand about chemistry tells us that if they were far enough along, they would have periodic table elements, war have something more advanced that we haven't come to yet I'll get back there. I would certainly have that organization yes ok, so Diana. What? What can you tell us yards of organised the information and use it as a foundation to communicate right. So personal Carl I, but thank you for that question because it's a really poor question. So if your face to face with say we're coming face
the face or face the technical with us. We don't know right away, I always had turned. It was, of course, a training course there, dwelt or, as we have seen recently in some in some films. You know one of the beginning things as we have to figure out what their sensory systems are. Okay, if we're face to face, there's an and what kind of signals may be perceived by each of us. So there's a lot this'll first steps that we have to take
now, if in communication- and we can come back to that in a minute- I'm assuming now that we're talking about the we ve received some kind of signal and we're not face to face from what from corals question and that they ve sent us something that we have deciphered as the periodic table or an equivalent of the periodic table was. I am. I urge you to use the organization. The periodic table were useful to bring educator communication to bear and not incur yeah. So I mean if we know that we have some shared point of reference, that the universe is organised in this particular way than we are
to find a way of letting them know we're, perceiving their signal its meaningful to us in that way and giving them a signal back to say yes, this has been received here is the equivalent for us and now you're, trying to align your knowledge bases. Ok, why the question I keep on a thing I keep on having about this is what is it in their signal that we ve gotten than that That's us now that they have this organization now. The other aspect of it is the question. As we can say, we are going to make the assumption, and I think this is what you are saying, the old, that we have a common knowledge base of the universe if we're both Intel. It species. Then we can include something away or we have to try to include something in a way that would be perceivable to another. We'd have the either views
Bath and assume they know where mass or no or chemistry and try to set up that communication were showing equivalence is and to use that as a bridge, it gets into a common knowledge or something that shared and finding the right way to share. And that other trivial. Well, it's not, but I love the fact that you know, as you guys, you're talking so I'm thing, atoms and molecules is like a base, and so asking this. Would Adams and molecules look the same? and to everyone in the universe as they do to us check. You just said one of the biggest questions for me as luck. What, if other this other intelligence, doesn't see? doesn't even say. I mean we're, making the assumption that site. That vision is gonna
be one of the main ways. This creature would, since the world I mean it just seems it's where such visual creatures, what, if they're not using site as their main sense or it's not the same and of sight. They have different receptors and we're very physiologically. Biased is what you're saying Abso River own senses, since we will show how would you connected to the french occupy of another question related to this? But when you try to talk to dolphins, We can compare periodic tables of elements that we can say. This is an apple. What does Europe? What's your word for apple with it? We can't do that. So what is what overlaps can empower Judy even asked the what question, let's start with something that we have in common and what we do want you go from there. Let me come to the film arrival from an essay That could illustrate the point. I do not look at a few recovery functioning arrival. You mean the one where the alien visited
we both were but the one with the cephalopod that deprives the I have had my pipes come down that there's the scientists. The learned, your truck
for that vision like that, that was my that we might have to powder carried out of his fingers up into the camera returning where it cannot sporting values, but unless this Newark film arrival, which I thought was a brilliant film, I loved it- this linguists is, is approached by the government and they say: hey decode, these alien start communicating with and find out what they want here. You know because they're they're, your trite they're scared. This is an alien, that's it that's landed a bunch of billions of landed and she says: wait, wait, wait a minute! We ve got a backup it not that fast and when she's completely right, if you're trying to communicate. First of all, you have to have some sense of who they are, what their sensory systems are like. So she spent weeks just watching them trying to interact with them, creating something in common, so they could start
sharing and that was critical. It was very, very important insightful by the writers, the writer of the original story, that it's not just. Oh, you start communicating. It doesn't happen. That way doesn't happen that way with dolphins. Sometimes you'll have a breakthrough with the dolphin rather quickly, and I'm going tell you a story about one of those breakthroughs that have really quickly ok in a few minutes, but you know she had she watched them and she started also imitating what they were doing. Imitation is a wonderful way to start communicating. So it's if we go to another film like close encounters of the third kind. That's what happened when they were started than when they started communicating with the aliens. Remember sounds that the alien ship was producing what little ball. But what did we do? The people who were on earth started imitating that that kind of me physical note. At that musical can composition. And they were suddenly and think they were communicating. I reckon
as you I'm repeating back what you do. That's the beginning of communication, I'm imitating you and repeating it. Back. Am I so wrong to think that I would not have sent a linguist and a physicist, I would have sent an Astro biologist and cryptography could, you tell me what a linguist has over a cartographer in that situation, that youth, because the clearly they thought about that. As you say, They they review date. They knew what they were doing for their storyline. It just would not have been. My first thought it wouldn't my first time either and I think personally I would have sent a krypton just and someone who studies
communication and other animals and ass. It were physically like you, I would have had a good how? How very did failure of you I'm making it look at her voice? I have felt Europe lazy friends had it's me. I didn't have to be made, but it should be somebody who has some experience with just like you got that. Well, I've actually yeah. I actually. I actually did some markets that with a steady project many years ago. Talking about that this is a great training ground. I, when we start
species other species and trial where Diana we would have sent you to. So don't worry about it. Every time we were, we got your browser's. Ok, thanks guys that much of which her dolphin story yet so we're talking about imitation, and when I had a what I call my first encounter with a dolphin mind. Ok- and I was a graduate student at the time- and I was just starting my research and I was working with this young dolphin insurgency and I was asked to teach her to just stay with me in front of me and eat fish that had been that were three times the size of her head and they were frozen dead fish that were now defrosting, so she could eat them, and I thought well. This is too big to give this dolphins, like cut them into heads. Middles, entail sections as little sourcing ready
we ate the heads she ate, the middle she spit of retail, and I looked at them and they had fin spiny fin. So I cut off the fence thinking. Maybe they would be more palatable and then she ate everything now in the course of training her to stay with me. While I was feeding her if she broke station at this time we use the means they leave before you want them to. I would give her a time out which men I would back away about. Fifteen ten to fifteen feet from the pool and an it broke their her ability to interact or get fish, and then I just stand there and look at her and then I would come back and such a punishment. Well, it's kind of a two way to say you ve got the wrong thing. Ok can think about it as a punishment, but it wasn't even think about that stronger how to say, because I didn't have a shared code. You ve done something wrong, and this was a technique that many people used with animals at the time. We don't use it so much anymore. You sort of say you just back away
I know that reinforcement yet about Christmas at your inflicting harm on my heard one doing you're, just removing something that she was enjoying that moment. Ok and sadness, so I would back away and again it could be for several seconds or ten to fifteen seconds five seconds. I buried it and then I would come back and she learned hey something's wrong. You know any good corrected and she was really smart dolphin and she learned very quickly. Don't leave until I go like this at the end and it means every night shower empty bucket and everything's done again. She was young and I had to teach her this. It were not for me, but for the people who were, I was working so everything's going fine sissies eating mobile.
Their she's, basically trained made a cut her fish, just the right way as the joke about that and now one day by accident. I happen to give her an uncut tail and certainly looked up at me. Her eyes got really big. She spit it out and she bolted across the pool and took a vertical position and just stayed there across and stared oh yeah, oh, and I didn't get. She gave you a time out. I went through this may be the music When I met the rest, So, what's up No one here I mean is shit she's it is she really doing this? It's an anecdote, it's one observation, but as a scientist I thought well, if she's really imitating and use.
Saying this to communicate to me that I'm doing something wrong like I committed she communicated to something you're, something to her. That's really pretty amazing. So what but I couldn't do anything with what an end of one. So what I did was I set up an experiment where I was very careful to feed her properly and give her all perfectly codfish over the next couple of sessions. She never did it and then, on purpose, three on three different occasions, I gave her an uncut tail and each time she went across the pool- and did this to me that's the begin. Of communication. That's how it starts again. It's based on this idea. I talk to you about the she's observing me, she's, really smart and she's, using something I do back and thereby cases like this. She called a time out on. You is. What have I think she did at an end?
she wrote this is well in the cup mouthpiece, like it's raining myself out so hard to get good help, these their scope really humans. They don't even tat kid. I tell you I learned a lesson from mad, but I also wrote a chapter on this in my doctoral dissertation. It was probably the best chapter in the whole thing. I think that was the best when anyway, because I partnered with her. She gave me this idea and it's really fascinating, because I think these are really smart. Smart, creative animals who are watching us their communicating back and often it's a problem that we just how don't have the means or the system that we can look at it where we can show people scientifically they understand. These sounds these symbols and they can use them and that's what I thought. I saw a comic once it might have been the needle in the new Yorker, where these two dolphins are swimming and one says to the other speaking of humans. One says to the other,
You know they face each other make noise is, but it's not clear there ever actually communicating the dolphin analysis of humans. Does very much what we do with most other animals to tell you we're gonna take another break. I ve only got one question in that segment: chalk. Who cares if such a great? Conversely, when we come back, will sleeping about more than one question segment interests, species communication with professor diaries where we live. Give a patriarch shot out to the following patriarch patrons carefully We have an Tracy S, scrubber guys Thank you. So much for your support. You know. Without you, the shell would not be possible and for those of you listening who would like you very unpatriotic shot out, but a patriotic
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I welcome all the groups who is the best place for them to end or the they can. Look at intra species dot. I oh yes and were my research with my colleague, Marcello Magneto, whose professor I Rockefeller University they can put in Reese are ye. I says M choosing he too, and it will get them said the website. I website excellent excellent, will check this. Here's a cosmic worries and you ve only deliver me one and a half question so far well- and they were they were so good. You, Africa and our guide was given- They told us remember, let's call the whole segment alighting round rang time, while I'm going from patriotic says what kind of non verbal communication is already covered between humans and other species. Is it more common than we think I know my cat once go outside when he starts scratching the door bell?
that's than him scratch your face. So we might split between domestic animals and the rest of the animal kingdom? So what you say there? So animals are communicating with us all the time and where communicating back. These are not part of science studies, its basic communication, they watch, as we watch them and we get the more familiar. We are the more we learn to interpret that say your cat or your dog is watching you its reading, your behavior you're doing the same Communication having what, when they want to be such a futile it wanted to see you that's a whole other situation. Lebanon reception, there's not it's not well studied in the non human animal world, yet, It's really interesting terrorism, I ask, is you know, visiting someone's home and they have a sign there, because they do have a lot to do the dogs always sit and beg while you're eating dinner. The sign says the dog has been fed, dont believe is, but Today
Look at you like it's never been fed and his whole life. I think I pets do this a lot. My cat so my husband and looks like I have been fed in five days. You know I just fed the cat you just but they know not to go to you, because you don't put up with that that my cat also does it me later if by tat, does when my husband has just said believe me. I volatile thinking ahead its nazis animals. I have three children and they deserve, don't you this is called a jerk coltan says. My question is one f our bees, since we detect them, we ve gotten quite a few of the years, how capital you that any of these could be communication from an invasive alien civilization in a different galaxy or solar system. Is that possible? I am also a huge fan of the show, I think its awesome and you guys are doing great work. Ok,
That's so Diana that turns out to be a question. For me, these are our bees or short for fast radio bursts, and so there are two things We have to consider your either it's a new. In the universe that we'll have prior data to inform us on and so we should study or its intelligent aliens, trying to send a signal. Ok, and every time we have a new telescope, it has new capabilities and a new powers. We discover stuff that we never seen before this very actual of I'm a bearing person, I would say, is pro some new phenomenon that we have yet to classify. And understand and that'll be? I think that is that before I will think that its intelligent aliens be me- signals at us, and that is what I am that's, why we care answered them, I would like to welcome a gay set up zoo.
Let us make sure you have to check with everybody. You know too, on the planet who listening, it's not coming what happened is look chuckle, come visit, visit earth with a guy to your taste. How come you call it? No, I was just do you mean no one, but it's all right all right keep God people don't keep dawn. Oh wow. This is a great one, Douglas Stern says: do we have any idea how swarms of fish communicate like when they form a tight knit ball to avoid press?
sure as well. At least the ones on the inside avoid private have flowed. Failure was at the outset. I have it says you gonna go of it hardly noticed they insist, perfect formation and dance and weave in unison. Only humans. We need to move hey you're, hopefully aliens wouldn't need to mimic this behaviour when they the alien come so Diana do, we really know everything you should know about how even species communicate with themselves enough. To give me coffee, is that you are making progress in interest me these communication because we need. If we don't know why bird flock another kind of emergent phenomena, but you
find out how we can communicate with another species is putting the cart before the horse gets. Could question the oh? So I think what if they kind of go hand in hand with each other, looking trying to decode community communication, but we call interest in prostheses. Communication between the two of you were there when I it's her. My colony is a million termites and they all seem to know what they're doing, because at the end of the day, a lot of the mound love gossip, how they might only we happening view here. Do not those termite up day. I've felt was really happening, so I mean that there are a lot of it. There are a lot of studies. Right now that had been that are going on now and that have gone on to try to decode the species own signals, and we do that too. With dolphins we try to under
then how they're using their own signals? And then, when we make those steps into inner species communication between us and dolphins, we try to incorporate signals that lay may find meaningful or useful again will develop our relationship with them and then we're we're not using human words. Whether what I do want to use words within they can produce words. We ve created, for example, we ve created underwater keyboard and now a touch screen that gives them visual forms that we know they can see, and then we, if they touch those forms on a touch screen, they hear a whistle or that they can hear they can imitate and they get specific things. So we meet them. Half way using the error code should so, if you have a giant Ipad for dolphins,
No, what you know! That's gonna, leave your girlfriend tinder, you sure you know, there's gonna be a driver's wiping right now. I say we watched them. Do that movement swiping, but weak when we first gave them the keyboard they touch screen. It's a four by eight for touch screen is actually an optical touch screen. If they touch it is their touches actually seen by cameras. So it's optically sense by our data or stay. They saw this. We did it. We did what we called whack a fish, not Wakeham, all to see if it would work and we had fish going crossed screen. Think of one of the young dolphins who had never seen anything technic. Like this just immediately started touching on the fish you look like a teenager going for the fish is re just to be clear when, in the technology, the nose, in the screen is not with your sensing, you have cameras the triangulated on where the nose touch, and that gives it a Coronel the Yahoo wrapped us just to be it. It's not their nose, their noses. Actually, there
oh hell. That's at the back of their head. It's the bigger the rostrum touches got on Roma. So let the railways, but that's not the nose and the food now now the S room, that's the rostrum or beak. That's about yeah, I'm never going to call it the rostrum. Ok, I'm about lie, I gotta be, and you know why not years why nobody will call it that, because you not you Diana biologists. May aimed at one of the dolphins bottle knows dolphin they are now it is about what we are when we agreed to call it snowed about that now. Take it This will allow snaps I'd. Give it up yet will allow examples. Now we're now communicating the elder entrusted vizier. For us here is growing
I just got its inward he's. The patriarch patron who says this? What tools or techniques are used to discover community? on the animal world as Firstly, I wonder how we really know what we understand an animal is trying to tell us. Ah so yet would like it's very easy to know that an animal understands us it's hard for us to know. If we understand them, you know. So what are the tools they say. This is how we know yeah. Well, it's not easy and we use cameras. We use video cameras, we use according to other kinds of recording devices, to requite their sound to record movement, and then we try to see how they use their having you sound and movement and perhaps smell the different senses in their social interaction. So that's one way by its laborious, I mean people it takes years to try.
Understand what signals, what signals go with, what behaviors and again, but these. This is what we use. We have to use our powers of observation, and sometimes it's just our eyes and our ears and watching that's a good way to start, but then we use other recordings vices and then we use computers and we use big data analysis now, hopefully, will help us in a coupled with us to have breakthroughs in learning about the past utterance that these animals used every time. I see a nature documentary evidence most doing? Some weird behaviour, they always say It's a mating ritual order, pizza. You know right itself, you're right, it is always every area the meeting of the epidemic insert species, but you're gonna, wanna creature is really all fuckin asshole.
Animals communicate about mating, they commute about finding food, but they lose. They also are due. A whole lot more than we ever expected and the more studies that we we read about, we realise wow. We never thought that animals have alarm calls and that other animals will listen to like whose in the environment which predators in the environment and then it helps them now what a scapegoat to go to war to the Freddy's Brac, Freddy, the boy is back right. I trust you gonna timeframe. We go. Let's keep earnestly guy with a death Tomlinson says this from Facebook to marine mammals, have different ways of communicating dependent, upon where they are in the world or their geography, for example, adopted in the Gulf Coast will does it make different. Sounds then it often in the Pacific or or does that differentiate itself across different types of dolphins.
Did to dolphins, have universal language, or do they have dialects when they really comes down to is really the simplest way to put that yeah an idea we think they have done. Relax and evaluate look if we have the nets, but we should have seen evidence for that. For many many years but they also so they have. We don't know if there's certain signals that they share as well. So, for example, accept means across groups of dolphins and something that a lot of us we're looking at humpback whales, for example, have make these beautiful hunting songs. Many of you may be familiar with that. Gun assist our track for the same. The whales go check, Look what shouted the jump on land
then finds you have. If you go to my door to be a very good, you ran like I'd. Imitation shut, that's beautiful, but they change over seasons without in a group of Wales, but in different parts of the world. The songs are different for the humpbacks, with dolphins. They not only may have different signals within the populations, but the range of this sounds they make the frequencies are different. We did a study out of my lab several years ago and we showed the bottlenecks dolphins in bimini use, whistles that are extend over wider frequency range than in other groups, so it may have to do with their environment and what sounds scape, like you were talking about. Neil is, you know, they're the wind though, that they use navies frame, a worthy infancy of those studies. Really some hundreds have russian accidents in halves, and you really ought to their that's all.
The amazing female its is the dolphins is like a man. Are you darling We go with every day that teach and charm dolphin. That has the predominant exactly. As you know, we have quick dolphins can make to sounds. At the same time. There is a little piece of information you might I don't know, that's pretty cool academic went out of the blue hole in one out of this road or or the throw that away. I'm things the blowhole has to its eye to two part: two holes with me: I'm the blow hall at each one there too Saxon age, so they can click and whistle. At the same time, we showed in our lab so that they can, with all they could do to whistle and squawk. At the same time. It's really call is well TAT is that their version of walking ensuring bubblegum saved had no idea We got it when it's time for like tomb, fast ones who a girl dawn, ream from Facebook Country, yes,
and Don says this. It is said that matters and universal language, which is the basis of which the numerals zeros drew nigh the art of that number system has to do with the budget that we carry on our hands what an intelligent species sure, say mathematics, even if they had a different amount of digits or no did you sit all I can comment on that. I don't know it. Then it can dolphins count. I yeah there's been evidence that they can track numbers of items and bacon adds some quite today, differences separating. That's really ought accounts that really We can only regret that the based system users actually doesn't matter if it involves the track of of another and end. What we presume in my field is since any other number based system would be arbitrary, based on branch, twelve fingers. Ten fingers, six fingers if you're going to. Communicate. You would do other tries it and just use based too, which is
smallest was base you can use. We can meaningfully count and so so, based on it why the hell computing is based too, is one reason for that zeros and ones so you'd say, no matter how many fingers had less use based too, and that we need a fallback for what this would be we have one more just last one I read this is vice chuck hardy, I think from Facebook identities and arteries, greetings from India, nor have we really been able to comprehend fully the ways animals communicate, what among one another truly owing centuries of evolution as sustaining very many calamities under the water? Their communication would have been more complex for even the human brain to understand. So, as you know, is it The fact that they ve been here a lot longer than we have good that mean that their speaking in a language that at that we're incapable of comprehend, which is too stupid to figure it out right away
we are not very far ahead with that. I have to say so. I tend to agree. I think we don't know how complex it is is the best way I can say it. It may be quite complex. It's a challenge for us to decode. It has people have tried for a long time we're still trying, but I think we still have a long way to go there. Clearly, communities as Carl Sagan famously said, we judge animals by how well they can communicate with us, but the out with a dolphin good, but we never judge ourselves for how well we can speak dolphin I have to say. I think our Finns have come a bit further than we have in terms of figuring it out excellent excellent interests just to take us out. I think that the the whale has the biggest mammal brain the elephant. Brain is pretty big as well. Where is the elephant on me and stuff phase worry anxious, yeah
the excitement. Quotient sounds better when you say that when I don't have anything with an item is bad but go arise. So the elephant brain is about some in relative size to its body as thing a great, a brain, reproof, great apes, great apes brains relative to the besides the body are are about two point. Two point three remember dolphins are about. Forty to humans. Europe. Seven elephants are about two point. Three and Diana does sound like you guys invented this issue too. Give more credit to these other mammals because for the law on this while well, we all grew up. It was humans, have the largest brain relative to our body weight to any Anna, even even dolphins, right, so any other animal would look at humans is having these stupidly large heads right, the competitor, our bodies, so and you come up with his other measure, which is what is the minimum brain to run the body anything an excess of that that
really your intelligence exactly well, it is at least gives us an idea of it gives us a comparison. Ok doesn't mean. It equates with intelligent, there has been great to have you here on a topic that we ve all thought about, but never had an expert to two Ankara's and so of travel. As you said earlier, we have to do this again. We gotta a baby and many many more questions we can't even get to my questions thanks. So much for having may and thanks everybody out. There then recent again, your book the title that again called the dolphin in the mirror. The dolphin in the mirror but for that and Chuck always good to have always gonna be all right, this has been startled. Cosmic queries thee it. Species communication addition meal the grass, your personal astrophysicist, a physicist, bidding you to keep
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Transcript generated on 2020-09-14.