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Superheroes of Science

Apr 9, 2020

Jeff Lucas, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, researches and teaches animal communication. Animal communication is the study of the interaction of living organisms. An important aspect of understanding communication is understanding how sound travels in different environments. This leads us to the complexity of vocal cords and social systems. The more dimensions of a social system, the more complex the communication needs to be. Jeff tells us about the very complex vocal system of the Chickadee. They have 15-20 different ‘letters’ in their language which produces thousands of different Chickadee calls. Jeff further explains that the complexity of the vocal system is seasonal, mixed-species flocks, changes in hearing, differences in birds hearing systems, and seasonality.