Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! (Romans 11:33 NASB)
Hornbills that Understand Monkey
The Yellow-casqued Hornbill (Ceratogymna elata) is found in the primeval rain forest of coastal regions of West Africa, for example in Côte d’Ivoire.
Yellow-casqued Hornbills are one of the largest birds of the forest, with adults weighing up to 2 kg. They live mainly in the forest canopy, feeding on the ground only rarely. They live in small family groups containing at least one adult male and female, with one or two immature birds, though they sometimes gather in larger flocks to exploit a major food supply such as an ant or termite nest.
“The birds are occasionally preyed upon by Crowned Eagles, and they respond to the presence of an eagle (sometimes indicated by its characteristic shriek) by mobbing, i.e. approaching it and emitting calls. Since the eagles depend on surprise to make a catch, this frequently causes them to leave the area.” (Wikipedia edited)
“With the exception of basic messages such as aggression, communication between two entirely different species has seldom been observed among animals in the wild. We know that many animals among the same species give each other specific warnings about an impending danger.” One example is “researchers have found that a downy woodpecker responds to alarm calls from chickadees.” “However, scientists have never noted one species recognizing the specific warning given by a second species.
Diana monkeys on the Ivory Coast of Africa face two primary threats, leopards and crowned eagles. When one of these threats appears, the spotter gives a very specific bark-like call depending on the type of threat. Of course, the monkeys need to respond differently to each threat whether it comes from the leopard below or the eagle above. So it helps them to know what they are facing. On the other hand, a bird named the yellow hornbill is threatened only by the crowned eagles. Researchers noted that these birds ignored the monkeys’ warning about the leopards. But when the monkeys signaled danger from the eagle, the bird took defensive measures. Researchers confirmed their observations using tape recorded monkey calls. The researchers were amazed that these birds understood the monkey warnings in an intelligent manner.”
Such intelligence comes from the Creator, Who has given the gift of such intelligence to His creatures in a way that provides for their survival. This shows His loving care for His creation.
Science News, 3/20: 2004, p. 188 Science News, “Hornbills know which monkey calls to heed.”
Copyright © 2011, Creation Moments, PO Box 839, Foley, MN 56329, http://www.creationmoments.com/ and from Wikipedia
Yellow-casqued Hornbills are in the Hornbill-Bucerotidae Family of the Bucerotiformes Order which includes the Hoopoes, Wood Hoopoes, and the Ground Hornbills. Crowned Eagles are found in the Kites, Hawks and Eagles – Accipitridae Family.