St. Martin’s Press, 2012
Working on this book was a process of discovery and fulfillment. I started with everyone’s assumption: humans are the only animals that have language. In my travels with scientists who work on how animals use their voices, it gradually dawned on me that all the research projects going on today are filling in pieces of the puzzle about how our language and music evolved. Who know what we’ll eventually know about how our talk and our song came to be?
A soprano’s aria or a visionary’s speech, a baby’s fierce wail or a lover’s whispered poem: To human ears, our species’s vocal communication may sound more complex than any other animal’s.
Journalist Menino invites her readers on a world tour of cutting-edge vocal communication studies. Frogs in Panama, songbirds in Puerto Rico, meerkats in South Africa and beluga whales in Canada are among the animals whose voices she hears on her visits to working scientists in the field. With her literate and lively style, she makes her book a scientific page-turner.