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Elephant with a Heart

Several species of animals communicate with humans on purpose.

Most recently, in March 2011, a group of dolphins alerted humans to a half-drowned dog caught on a sand bar near the shore. The dolphins raised a ruckus of vocalizations in the direction of the man and woman walking along the shoreline, until the people noticed the dog and helped.

Whales in the Atlantic learned Amazing Grace by swimming beneath the hulls of slave ships in the 1500s and hearing the inmates singing it to an African lyric. They reproduced the melody in their vocalizations and passed it to their offspring for several generations. 400 years later, scientists recorded whale song. Playing it back, they heard Amazing Grace.

If scientists cannot talk to extraterrestrials through the SETI project yet, they can search out other species to speak with on earth.  By 2003, they found 70 words and phrases used by Elephants in their own language. And in 2010, a South Korean elephant began to learn to repeat Korean words.

A new film about the Elephants is out in 2011 and many videos of language and emotional research with these animals are available online at:

Elephant with a Heart – How Elephants Communicate


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