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Book tip: "About singing mice and squeaking elephants"

The book "Of singing mice and squeaking elephants" was from the Bioacoustician Angela Stöger composed. It not only contains exciting anecdotes from Stöger's work with animals, QR codes that lead to audio samples and video material, it also illustrates the scientific aspect of animal communication. Besides, the book is a Appeal for more mindfulness in nature and against noise pollution. Noise is "one of the universal environmental problems - on land as well as in water," writes Stöger. It describes which questions bioacoustics has already clarified and that many more questions are still open.

Many animal sounds cannot be perceived naturally by humans, such as the "advertising singing" of male mice. We do not perceive other noises because we are not aware of them, says Stöger - we often do not even know what to look for while listening or that there is something to be heard at all.

"But if we listen carefully and are aware that communication and interaction take place always and everywhere and that intelligence and awareness are the prerequisites for this - can we still deny these very properties of many animals?" Asks the author. So gives her book new food for thought and good reasons against human undesirable developmentssuch as factory farming or the displacement of animals through noise. It also reads nicely smoothly and does not need to talk shop excessively. Stöger: "I think the more people know better about the life of animals, the sooner they are ready to recognize that we may not do everything in this world as it suits us."

"About singing mice and squeaking elephants - How animals communicate and what we learn when we really listen to them" by Angela Stöger, published by Brandstätter Verlag in 2021.

Photo: Bornett

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Written by Karin Bornett

Freelance journalist and blogger in the Community option. Technology-loving Labrador smoking with a passion for village idyll and a soft spot for urban culture.

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