Topic: communication

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The communal support within Crested Black Macaque monkey troops

Crested Black Macaques endure torrential rains on the northern end of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. It's the only forest on Earth where they can be found. BBC Earth visits this Lands of the Monsoon locale to obse...

How Elephants Listen … With Their Feet

Thousands of elephants roam Etosha National Park in Namibia, a nation in southwest Africa, taking turns at the park’s numerous watering holes. The elephants exchange information by emitting low-frequency sounds that t...

Octopus 101: Communication, breathing, and puzzle-solving

You may know that octopuses change color to camouflage, but can these kaleidoscopic displays also communicate their "emotions?" And how do octopuses even change colors? Cephalopod aquarist Candace is back with our gia...

Firefly Experience: Lightning bugs light the Iowa woods

Walk the woods near Fairfield, Iowa as the fireflies come out to sparkle and glow at twilight. Photographer Radim Schreiber sees the sparkling forest as reflection of the stars in the Milky Way and has been filming t...

The Wood Wide Web: How trees secretly talk to and share with each other

Trees secretly talk to each other underground. They're passing information and resources to and from each other through a network of mycorrhizal fungi—mykós means fungus and riza means root in Greek—a mat of long, thi...

Introducing the Dial Telephone, films from 1936 & 1954

Have you ever heard a dial tone or a busy signal? How did we call someone before speed dial and push-button telephones, but after people stopped needing to speak with a switchboard operator? Behold the rotary dial: ...

Mapping whale songs in the South Pacific

Why do male whales make such complex songs? And what are they communicating? Dr. Ellen Garland has been analyzing sound arrangements made by the tens of thousands of whales living in separate communities across the So...

Why (and how) do whales sing?

Whale vocalizations are a bit of a mystery. We know that only the males of some baleen whales sing, but we're not sure what those compositions—specifically structured phrases and melodies that repeat and evolve within...

Starling murmuration, a stunning clip from Jan van Ijken’s ‘The Art of Flying’

Murmurations, those dense clouds of whirling, pulsating, shapeshifting starling flocks, are a breathtaking dusk phenomenon. How do thousands of birds change directions and seemingly move as one without colliding? Dutc...

Road painters painting road markings by hand

The painted lines and symbols on streets, in parking lots, and along our city and country roads are created with a variety of mobile machines, vehicles, and hand-painting techniques. In a parking spot in Sokcho, South...

What does the wheelchair symbol actually mean?

Some of the world’s most recognizable symbols exist to sell products. Others, to steer traffic or advance political causes. But there’s one whose main purpose is to help people. You may know it as the wheelchair symbo...

How To Forgive – The School of Life

How can we bring ourselves to forgive someone who has been wrong, mean, or thoughtless to us? The School of Life explores How To Forgive, an animated video that aims to change our perspective, and help us come around ...

Secrets of Schooling: Investigating the collective behavior of fish

Collective behavior is embodied in swarms of insects, flocks of birds, herds of antelope, and schools of fish. In each of these cases, individuals move through their environment and respond to threats and opportunitie...

Where do new words come from? – TED Ed

There are over 170,000 words currently in use in the English language. Yet every year, about a thousand new words are added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Where do they come from, and how do they make it into our e...

What does the word ‘theory’ mean in science?

There’s an important difference between a scientific theory and the fanciful theories of an imaginative raconteur, and this quirk of semantics can lead to an all-too-common misconception. In general conversation, a ‘t...

How to spot a misleading graph

When they’re used well, graphs can help us intuitively grasp complex data. But as visual software has enabled more usage of graphs throughout all media, it has also made them easier to use in a careless or dishonest w...

A Few Things to Know About American Sign Language

What might people who use American Sign Language (ASL) want people who don't use it to better understand? DT Bruno, Kallissa Bailey, Ardavan Guity, Leyland Lyken, and Felicia Williams answer that question in this vide...

Chaser, the Border Collie that can understand 1022 words (or more)

Border Collies are known to be super smart and disciplined dogs that can take detailed verbal commands while herding sheep and performing other helpful tasks. How many verbal commands can they understand? This demonst...

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