Want to Know What the Fox REALLY Says?
Hint: It’s not “Ring-ding-ding-ding-dineringeding!”
By a bizarre twist of fate, my book Fox Talk: How Some Very Special Animals Helped Scientists Understand Communication hit bookstores at the very moment the Ylvis video took the internet by storm. I can’t even tell you how many people have walked up to me at signings, farmer’s markets, and even teacher’s conferences, taken one look at Fox Talk’s cover, and burst in to song.
It’s a blessing and a curse.
When people ask me “What does the fox say?” I usually answer “Chapter 4!” That’s the part of Fox Talk that discusses some awesome research on fox sounds – not just which ones they make, but what the sounds mean. Using over 25,000 recordings of individual calls, scientist Svetlana Gogoleva discovered that there are eight distinct noises. She then spent countless hours watching foxes interact with each other, comparing the sounds they made with their body language and behavior. Results showed that foxes use different noises to express different emotions.
That’s not really surprising to anyone who’s ever owned a dog. But here’s where it gets cool: Gogoleva compared the sounds that wild foxes make when they see humans to the sounds specially domesticated foxes make. Wild foxes use noises that convey anger or aggression. When domestic foxes see people, they use the same sounds they make when asking each other to play!
And even though these sounds aren’t words, humans are really good at understanding them. Another group of researchers recorded the barks dogs make in different circumstances and played the recordings for people. Most listeners could tell what the dog was feeling when it barked, even if they had never owned a dog themselves.
For more about domestic foxes and what they’ve revealed about how animals and people communicate, check out Fox Talk. As for what the fox REALLY says?
Whine, cackle, pant, growl, bark, cough, snort, moo. Not necessarily in that order!
Fox Talk by Lindsey Carmichael
Genre: kid lit
About Fox Talk:
When you talk to a dog, does the dog talk back? Many people think so. But for a long time, scientists didn’t know how our furry friends learned to communicate with people. Luckily, Russian scientist Dmitri Belyaev had a plan. If he could tame wild red foxes, he could learn how dogs first came from wolves. By studying the way these foxes changed during domestication, the mystery of communication would be solved at a last. More than 50 years after the experiment began, Belyaev’s foxes have become so tame, you can have one as a pet! Packed with eye-popping photos and first-hand research, FOX TALK reveals the story of these amazing animals… and everything they’ve taught us about wolves, dogs, and communication.Source: Info in the About Fox Talk was from the press kit from the publicity team.
Early Buzz About The Book:
"Fox Talk is an educational non-fiction title exploring the domestication of dogs by studying fox behaviour and communication. The information is presented with beautiful photographs, illustrations, bubbles/boxes of brief information, and descriptions of the research findings using age-appropriate language. I think this would be an excellent resource in elementary schools or for homeschoolers in particular and I highly recommend it." ~ 5-Star Review, Mother Daughter Book Reviews
Recordings of fox sounds:
Meet The Author
Lindsey Carmichael never outgrew that stage of childhood when nothing’s more fun than amazing your friends (and correcting your teachers!) with your stockpile of weird and wonderful facts. Her sense of wonder came in handy during her career as a scientist, and in 2006, she received the Governor General’s Medal for her PhD thesis, Ecological Genetics of Northern Wolves and Arctic Foxes. Lindsey finds talking about science more fun than doing it, however, and now writes for kids, teens, and occasionally adults (a sense of wonder is essential for this, too). Lindsey publishes under the name L E Carmichael, and her work has appeared in Dig, Highlights for Children, Kiki, and Canadian Tales of the Fantastic. Her published science books cover everything from animal migration to hybrid cars. When not digging up obscure or wacky details for her next nonfiction project, Lindsey’s probably working on her young adult fantasy novel.
Fox Talk Blog Tour Schedule (2014)
* Blog Tour Giveaway *
Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card (or PayPal cash) + a Skype visit to a school or library of the winner's choice ($250 value).
Contest runs: January 27th to February 21, 11:59 pm, 2014
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the publisher, Ashby-BP Publishing and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway