The coyotes have begun singing outside our window, perhaps chorusing some meaningful message or merely entertaining themselves. It is, however, the season in which the boys and girls begin to look each other over, perhaps to evaluate the other’s contribution to the choir.
Also working the night shift, a pair of great horned owls pass through now and again; he hooting with a voice pitched at one level, his lady’s pitched at another. The night is anything but silent, even though our nearest human neighbor is camped many sites away.
So far as we know, only man uses words to communicate his thoughts; however, even though “lower” animals lack the complex system we call language, they get their point across very well. On a superficial level there doesn’t appear to be much commonality in communication among bats and bees, or among badgers and butterflies, yet these creatures actually send many of the same messages – for good reason. There is an almost universal need for understanding among creatures that establish and defend territories, attract and keep mates, bear young, and, in the case of many species, rear those youngsters until they are mature enough to survive on their own. (Read the rest …)