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Good grief. Prairie Dog Whisperer...

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Brian in Oregon, Jan 25, 2011.

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  1. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    All I know is they go THWOCK! when shot.


    Prairie dogs have a language all of their own and 'can describe what humans look like'

    By Graham Smith
    Last updated at 5:49 PM on 21st January 2011

    It's a language that would twist the tongue of even the most sophisticated linguist.

    Prairie dogs talk to each other and can describe what different human beings look like, according to scientists.

    The species - only found in North America - call out to warn their friends when a predator approaches their habitat.

    Not only that, but they have calls for 'human', one for 'hawk' and another for 'coyote', radio station NPR reports.

    Professor Con Slobodchikoff, of Northern Arizona University, has been studying prairie dogs for 30 years.

    He is particularly interested in deciphering their language because to do so would 'open the door for understanding how other species communicate'.

    The prairie dog's barks, yips and chirping sounds are really a sophisticated form of communication that contains a vocabulary of at least 100 words, Professor Slobodchikoff claims.

    'The little yips prairie dogs make contain a lot of information,' he said.

    'They can describe details of predators such as their size, shape, colour and how fast they are going.

    'They also can discriminate whether an approaching animal is a coyote or a dog, and they can decipher different types of birds.'

    Professor Slobodchikoff and his students hid themselves in prairie dog villages and recorded the noises the rodents made whenever a human, hawk, dog or coyote passed through.

    What they found was that the prairie dog issues different calls depending on the intruder. The researchers discovered this by analysing the recorded calls for frequency and tone.

    They concluded that it doesn't have one call for 'danger', rather it has a collection of warning noises - or a language.

    To further develop this line of investigation, Professor Slobodchikoff gathered four volunteers and had them walk through a prairie dog village four times. On each occasion they wore the same clothing, except for different colour shirts.

    The prairie dogs responded by issuing different calls, depending on the colour of the volunteers' shirts.

    Professor Slobodchikoff then discovered they also issued different calls for varying heights, and even for abstract shapes including cardboard circles, squares and triangles.

    He told NPR: 'Essentially they were saying, "Here comes the tall human in the blue," versus, "Here comes the short human in the yellow."'
  2. Coyote 270

    Coyote 270 Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    I think I know what these guys were saying just before..............

    Sorry, just couldn't help myself..............LOL
  3. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Banned User Banned

    Apr 6, 2010
    I wonder what "Hit the f$%^ing deck!" sounds like in prairie dog talk.
  4. Hawk46

    Hawk46 TS Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    I think professor Con has been drinking a bit too much Smirnoff. Everyone knows they use sign language.
    If they're bent over and shooting you the moon it means you're out of range.

    If they're wiggling their paws beside their ears they're telling you to trade the .223 for a .22-250.

    If he's standing on one leg he's saying "I'm so unconcerned with your shooting accuracy that I can stand here and take a nice long leak."

    Talking prairie dogs... What does he know?
  5. shadow

    shadow Active Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Ever wonder whos is writing the good professors' paycheck ? Most likely U.S. taxpayers--and arent we happy to get such useful information for our dollars ?
  6. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter

    Jan 29, 1998
    Are these dogs related to coons?
  7. tcr1146

    tcr1146 Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    WTFE! Tom Rhoads
  8. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    You may not realize it, but referential communications studies like this one are very relevant to our military and to the NSA.
  9. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    I heard one of the elctronic predator call sellers had an "All Clear" sound for the caller.

    Man, that's a dirty trick. I love it.

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