TALK TO THE ANIMALS

Only humans speak using words. But all species in the animal kingdom can communicate in one way or another. Maybe you have heard about the way bees dance around to send messages to each other and the way dogs bark in different ways to give warnings, to be friendly or to be playful.

But did you know about infrasonic communication used by elephants? This is how it works.

Humans hear low sounds like the bass notes in music or thunder rumbling in the sky. But we don’t hear sounds lower than these. However, animals such as elephants and hippos can hear much lower sounds than humans can. And what’s more, they can make sounds in that range as well, and they use them to communicate with each other. This is known as infrasound.

Another amazing thing about infrasound is that it travels over several kilometres. Sounds which have a higher pitch, like the ones people can hear, don’t travel well through walls, leaves, trees, and so on, which is why we can’t hear sounds from more than 100 meters away. But infra­sound is much ‘stronger’, and things like grass and trees have no effect on it. Therefore it can travel much further. Elephants can hear infrasonic calls from four kilometres away!

In places like a zoo or wildlife park where you can get nearer to animals, it is a bit easier to sense when infrasonic sounds are made. When you stand near mother elephants with their ba­bies in a zoo you may notice a slight rumbling in the air every few minutes — not loud or strong, but clearly noticeable. This is infrasonic communication — the mother elephants ‘talking’ to their babies!

  1. The writer mentions bees and dogs…

A because they want to learn how they communicate.

В as examples of animal communication.

C because they use infrasonic communication.

  1. Humans can hear…

A lower sounds than elephants can.

В sounds that travel long distances.

C sounds with higher pitch.

  1. Things like trees…

A cause problems for low sounds.

В cause problems for high sounds

C don’t affect sounds at all.

  1. 4. In places like zoos…

A humans can sense when infrasonic sounds are being made.

В elephants don’t need to make infrasonic sounds.

C it is easier than in wildlife parks to sense when elephants use infrasonic sounds.

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