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Kaleidoscope

Do animals have a language: nature's biggest unsolved mystery
ANI
January 31, 2013
First Published: 19:37 IST(29/1/2013)
Last Updated: 16:24 IST(31/1/2013)
This undated photo provided by Animal Planet shows dogs playing on the field during "Puppy Bowl IX," in New York. The “Puppy Bowl,” an annual two-hour TV special that mimics a football game with canine players, made its debut eight years ago on The Animal Planet. Dogs score touchdowns on a 10-by-19-foot gridiron carpet when they cross the goal line with a toy. AP Photo
Whether animals have their own language is the mystery that people most want to know, according to a new survey.
 
Asked to choose from 10 unanswered questions about the natural world, almost a third (31percent) of British people said whether animals use language was one of the issues they most wanted answered, the Daily Mail reported.
 
The second most burning question was over how the dinosaurs died out, with 29 percent of the 2,000 people polled putting that as one of their top queries.
 
And more than a fifth (22 percent) wanted to know why cats purr.
 
The poll for the launch of new TV show David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities on UKTV’s Eden HD channel also revealed some of the most commonly believed myths about nature.
 
Almost half those polled (47 percent) believed female Praying Mantis eat the males after sex, although research has found that only happened once in 69 experiments, while 37 percent thought camels store water in their humps, rather than storing fat to provide energy.
 
The Natural Curiosities programme looks at some of the most extraordinary evolutionary anomalies of the natural world, including the giraffe’s long neck, a zebra’s stripes and the chameleon’s long tongue.

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