Many Animals Speak in Turns, Just Like Humans

Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

Did you know that some animals actually take turns while talking, similar to what humans do? Exploring this is helping scientists understand the origins of human conversation as we know it.

For a long time, we believed that humans are unique for the ability to have a conversation where two or more parties are equally involved and know (seemingly instinctively) when to speak and when to listen. Turns out, this type of communication is everywhere around us.

A scientific review published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences shows that many species communicate with their peers by taking turns on when to speak. With some animals, the “conversation” is not even based on sound, but done with hand gestures (bonobo) and feather colors (birds).