Chances are, all of us have encountered a non-human animal in our life. Also, chances are good that we've seen two or more non-human animals coexisting. Typically we see these animals finding food, shelter, warning another animal to stay away, or looking for a mate. However, sometimes what animals do when a human is not watching can be quite remarkable. In Chapter 8, language, thinking, and reasoning is discussed; the chapter is centered around communication and how humans and even animals have developed ways to perform social tasks.
Communication as we humans know it is based in language. Whether it be spoken or seen visually, we are nearly dependent on it. While spoken languages are rare in the animal kingdom, a couple animals have learned to "talk" like we do. Animals like Alex, the African Gray Parrot had learned how to speak about 150 words of English, and had appeared to understand what he was saying. Could this be the key to human-animal speaking? The problem was that the repetition of words was the primary contributor to this spoken language. For more information on Alex the Parrot click here.
While most animals can't handle any spoken language, some animals' lives are highly affected by visual communication. One example of a social interaction performed by an animal can be seen in the beehive. When returning to the hive, honeybees inform other bees which direction, how far, and how much pollen a flower has through dancing. Without this, the bee population would be drastically reduced, due to flying without knowing where to go. Once again its not speaking to us, but its communication in the bees' own way.
Both humans and non-human animals are unique. We humans have our way of communicating and those animals have their way. We humans are the only species that can talk and understand spoken language, but animals sure get what they need to keep living through their own unique ways of communication too.