Hornbills That Understand Monkey by Creation Moments
“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus…” (Colossians 1:28)
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. 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 yellow hornbill 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.
Father, thank You for Your love, especially for Your forgiving love to me in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Science News, 3/20: 2004, p. 188, “Hornbills know which monkey calls to heed.” Photo: Diana Monkey at the Henry Doorly Zoo ©WikiC. (CC-BY-SA 3.0)
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