[–] ScienceThot12 ago  (edited ago)

Well yeah; but I could have told you that. That's how animal language communication works.

A few examples:

When you are praising a dog, you use a high voice. When you are telling them off, you use a low voice (if you want it to actually work).

You can basically work out what a cat wants by the pitch of their voice if they are talkative. I have one that never shuts up, and I can tell what she means. I've realized that some of the sounds she makes are actually similar to some sounds that I make. She's listening to me, and even though she can't understand my language, she's worked out that I use different pitches at different times. She does this to me. Man, I should tape this, it's kind of cool.

So Coco's basic MO is this:

1) Engage human and make eye contact

2) Indicate pleasure of choice by going to: a) place where brush is kept b) door (in case it is time to go outside) c) basement door (there are boxes there and we once saw a mouse) d) the attic stairs, because sometimes we hang out there when I am working and her sister is too lazy to come up there.

  1. When she has my attention, she tries each of these routes. I then either go: a) [high voice] 'OkCoco!' and do what she wants (usually because I was going to anyway; sometimes because she want 'mraawaaaaw? and looked cute enough that I just folded). b) [Low voice} 'No. I then do the thing I was doing anyway and she makes a low mwaaaw of disappointment and tries to guilt-eye me. At this point sometimes her sister (Margo) arrives and tries to be cute at me just to make Coco more sad. I ignore this because Margot is a bitch. She also has a totally different and much simpler vocal range to Coco, is way more into my husband (he feeds them, she's a chonk), and uses body language way more. c) [Mid-voice] 'Later.' She then goes 'aaaw!' and waits a bit. She actually does now - I see this as a massive achievement.
    d)[med-high voice] 'In A Minute!' She then goes 'prrrrup!' and goes and waits next to her brush.

She's three, so I guess I've been training this in/ observing for about 2.5 years.

Back to my original point (also, German Shepherd owners - you already knew this stuff) - animals who know each other can use pitch to express different things using the same 'noise.' It's basically how Tree speaks Groot speaks to Rocket Raccoon. The joke people I think miss there is that Rocket has learned to speak Groot, and can sometimes even speak Groot back to Tree, Tree can't always understand his much more complex language. This allows Rocket to talk to himself without any major intellectual challenges to what he already knows.

I digress. I had wine :)

When you think about it, we already knew this. Goats have been around for like 4 million years according to a very recent google search I just did right now. It's not surprising that they've reduced their language down to simple versions of 'baaa.'


[–] think- ago 

Of course they can. :-P