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The voices of nature : how and why animals communicate  Cover Image Book Book

The voices of nature : how and why animals communicate / Nicolas Mathevon ; with a foreword by Bernie Krause ; illustrations by Bernard Mathevon.

Mathevon, Nicolas, (author.). Krause, Bernie, 1938- (writer of foreword.).


"What messages do animals send to each other using sound? How can we decipher them? What lessons might these messages offer for understanding the origins and workings of our own communication? Scientists who study bioacoustics try and answer these questions, using physiology, animal behavior, and evolutionary biology to understand how and why animals communicate via sound. In this book, Nicholas Mathevon offers readers an accessible overview of the field of bioacoustics, from the mechanisms of sound to its complex social function. Comprising short, accessible chapters, A Sound Journey explores how sound travels underwater, the act of hearing, and how animals use sounds inaudible to humans. Mathevon also shows how animals use sound to communicate in various circumstances, including parent-offspring relationships, conflict, expressions of emotion, and complex socialization. The study of acoustic communication enables a better understanding of the complexities of animal behavior, and the book uses examples from throughout the animal kingdom to illustrate how discoveries in bioacoustics have revealed various species' behaviors. In the final chapters, Mathevon explores animal "language" and the various philosophical and biological implications of this topic, both for various wild and domesticated species and for our understanding of how human communication systems developed." -- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780691236759
  • ISBN: 0691236755
  • Physical Description: xv, 375 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
  • Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, [2023]

Content descriptions

General Note:
"Originally published in French under the title Les animaux parlent--Sachons les aecouter A 2021 by Humensciences/Humensis"--Title page verso.
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 309-354) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Animal chatters: Tinbergen's four questions -- Making circles in water: A short vade mecum of physical acoustics -- The warbler's eyebrows: Why do birds sing? -- Cocktails between birds: Noise and communication theory -- Family dinner: Parent-offspring communication -- Submarine ears: Underwater bioacoustics -- The tango of the elephant seals: Vocal signals and conflict ritualization -- The caiman's tears: Acoustic communication in crocodiles -- Hear, at all costs: Mechanisms of audition -- Tell me what you look like: Production of sound signals -- Networking addiction: Acoustic communication networks -- Learning to talk: Vocal learning in birds and mammals -- Inaudible speech: Ultrasounds, infrasounds, and vibrations -- The laughing hyena: Communications and complex social systems -- Ancestral fears: The acoustic expression of emotions -- The booby's foot: Acoustic communications and sex roles -- Listening to the living: Ecoacoustics and biodiversity -- Words... words: Do animals have a language?
Subject: Animal communication.
Animal sounds.
Genre: Informational works.
Illustrated works.

Available copies

  • 2 of 2 copies available at Missouri Evergreen. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Caruthersville Public. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Caruthersville Public Library.


  • 0 current holds with 2 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Caruthersville Public Library 591.59 MAT (Text) 38417100652595 Non-Fiction Available -

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