Non-fiction: Calls Beyond our Hearing


This was a book I proofread a few months back, and was about how and why animals communicate. I found it an interesting topic (and wanted to learn more about the subject). The author spent time on several animal research projects around the world and discovered that even the simplest of animals required many years of patient observation from researchers trying to interpret their communication.

Calls Beyond Our Hearing

By Holly Menino

St. Martin’s Press, 2012

My role: Proofreader

Description from Macmillan Publishers:
A worldwide journey through the mystery and science of animal communication.

Calls Beyond Our Hearing is a fascinating exploration of animals, their voices and their survival. Traveling from Panama to England, Africa to Puerto Rico, Quebec to America, Holly Menino learns from scientists, explorers and cutting-edge studies about a wide variety of animal species as they feed, play, fight, mate and communicate for survival. Voice by voice, researchers assemble the building blocks of animal communication, such as:

    –How tungara frogs distinguish one mate from thousands of suitors
    –The purposeful song duets of rare birds in a remote island wilderness
    –England’s iconic red deer and the interloper that is diluting the species
    –How meerkats gather, warn or help each other, and reject outsiders with vocalizations
    –The communication of elephants in close groups and across great distances

Calls Beyond Our Hearing will engage anyone interested in the musical world of creatures, and what animal communication can teach us about our own voices and songs.

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About janarzooman

Freelance writer and editor. View all posts by janarzooman

2 responses to “Non-fiction: Calls Beyond our Hearing

  • Hart Johnson

    You know… I had never given this much thought (outside of domestic animals) other than being able to tell when an animal was annoyed, but we had a pair of wrens nest in our mailbox this spring and I listend to those little birds and what calls they did when and it was amazing the range of chirps and warbles. It is so interesting to think how much more complex their lives are than we give them credit for.

    • janarzooman

      Yes, and the writer pointed out that it wasn’t just for mating purposes, but for telling each other apart and for warning each other about predators. The section about the meerkats was especially interesting, as the researchers had discovered the animals had different calls for different types of predators — from the air, above ground or tunneling, each of which required a different reaction from the group.

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