Arizona Biologist Says Prairie Dog Sounds Should Be Considered Language

An Arizona biologist believes that the sounds a Prairie dog makes should be considered as a language and that one day we’ll be able to understand what they’re saying.

Prairie dogs live in subterranean societies and surface when they need to forage for food during the day. They don’t venture far from their colonies and have a very distinct call when they spot a predator such as a hawk, coyote, human or any other animal the class as a threat.

prairie dog

Con Slobodchikoff is a professor of biology at Northern Arizona University and has been analysing the sounds of Prairie dogs for over 30 years. He learned pretty quickly that they have a very distinct alarm calls, not only that but each alarm call is different depending on the predator.

Continuing his studies over the decades he found that the calls go beyond just identifying a predator, but also specified it’s size, shape, colour and speed. The rodents also seemed able to create new sounds to identify an animal they had never seen before, which indicates the ability to form language.

You can find out more about the different calls in detail by clicking here, but for now, take a look at the video below, they sound so cute, but are they actually speaking a language or not?

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