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Body Language by Julius Fast

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2

Of Animals and Territory

The Symbolic Battle

The relationship between animal communication and human communication is only now beginning to be understood. Many of our insights into nonverbal communication have come from experiments with animals. Birds will communicate with each other by song, generation after generation singing the same set of notes, the same simple or complex melody. For many years scientists believed that these notes, these bird songs were hereditary accomplishments like the language of the porpoise, the language dances of certain wasps, and the “talking” of frogs.

Now, however, there is some doubt that this is completely so. Experiments seem to indicate that bird songs are learned. Scientists have raised certain birds ...

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