What do we know about the evolution of acoustic communication? How was born? The general opinion was that it occurs independently in different types of animals, but today there is another approach. Following a scientific study, we have just discovered that more than 50 animals that were considered dumb, can communicate.
it’s interesting discovery suggests a new concept about the origin and evolution of oral communication.
According to the researchers in charge of the study, its origin would be around 400 million years ago, via a common ancestor.
The different species that have been selected to be the subject of such a detailed study are aquatic, among which various types of turtles, lungfish, cecilian and tuatara.
The reason for choosing these animals is that it has always been considered that they were not capable of emitting any type of sound, but the reality is different, very impressive.
50 animals thought to be mute can communicate
It may sound a little strange or out of the ordinary, but a scientist has certainly managed to discover that more than 50 animals that were thought to be mute can communicate. That’s how he fixed it Gabriel Jorgewich-Cohen researcher at the University of Zurich, Switzerland (UZH), with his collaborators.
Recently, the discovery was published in some scientific magazines, the conclusive results of the study conducted on more than 50 species of animals. In one of the notes, you can read an important statement:
“In the world of animals, oral communication is more widespread than we really thought..
The most convincing proof of this fact was captured after the compilation of evidence found in various animals, including marine species. In them it was possible to perceive the acoustic capacities they possess, but that at one time and for a long time they were considered unvoiced.
The study was able to provide insight into the evolutionary origin of acoustic communication in animals. Credit: Gabriel Jorgewich-Cohen et al.
Cohen’s research is fundamentally based on the sound recording and compilation of informationlinked to the contextual behavior of the different species chosen in parallel tests, accompanied by the reproduction of the sounds they emit.
Cohen developed a type of hydrophone, which is more or less a microphone that goes underwater. With him, he traveled to nine institutions in five countries, with the aim of registering animal species considered to be mostly silent.
In this way, he recorded fifty species of turtles, as well as caecilians, tuatara (a reptile now only found in New Zealand) and lungfish (air-breathing fish).
This is how he was able to amass a vast database and conclude What, “not only terrestrial vertebrate animals have the ability to communicate, even those we thought were dumb“. The aforementioned animals are included in this group.
The predisposition ofandman: one of the main problems
For Cohen and his colleagues, one of the main problems in discovering that certain species can communicate is the predisposition of humans towards animals. For hundreds of years, few sectors of science have devoted the time, energy and resources to explore this possibility, it was simply assumed that they were mute.
When the truth is they can do it, even though not as often or with as clear sounds as other animals terrestrial, for example birds, dogs, horses, among others. The case of sea turtles demonstrates this conclusively, since they have a wide and complex variety of acoustic repertoire.
These animals they make audible sounds while mating, they also do this indoors eggs, just at the time of hatching. This way they can synchronize the hatching time all together, thus preventing predators from devouring them.
Something similar happens with the tuataras, these endemic reptiles are able to emit certain sounds when they feel that their territory is in danger, they do it to defend themselves. In order to track this whole series of noises or sounds, the scientists used a technique known as Phylogenetic analysis.
The researchers were even able to detect acoustic communication in the lungfish. Credit: Rafael CB Location.
By combining relevant data on the vocalization abilities of species such as salamanders, amphibians, fish, lizards and snakes, with methods for reconstructing these phylogenetic traits. Comparative analyzes with data from acoustic branches known as mammals, birds and frogs, allowed researchers communications card vocal in the vertebrate tree of life.
How important is communication!
Thanks to acoustic communication, it is possible to establish all kinds of social, family or professional relationships, between friends, parents, spouses and other people. But It’s not just for humansbecause from a scientific point of view, animals also communicate.
You might also be interested in: Curious three-eyed reptiles as old as dinosaurs.
Even a wide variety of species once thought to be mute can communicate, no doubt a great discovery of modern science. So important that it sheds light on its provenance, which dates back some 400 million years and comes from a single evolutionary species. Thanks to science, man will continue to discover the secrets of nature!
The study was published in Nature Communication.
References: Europa Press / La Nación.
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