What's In A Squeak? For Naked Mole Rats ... EVERYTHING : Short Wave "Dialects" is one of those words tossed around a lot when talking about human language. They indicate where a speaker is from. But dialects aren't exclusive to humans; scientists have known for a while that whales and songbirds also show these variations in language. Today, NPR science correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce explains research that expands that list to include naked mole rats.

Yearning for more episodes about communication between animals? Or wish we would cover something else entirely? We'd love to hear your suggestions — shortwave@npr.org.
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What's In A Squeak? For Naked Mole Rats ... EVERYTHING

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What's In A Squeak? For Naked Mole Rats ... EVERYTHING

What's In A Squeak? For Naked Mole Rats ... EVERYTHING

What's In A Squeak? For Naked Mole Rats ... EVERYTHING

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/971873781/984755177" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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An algorithm was able to very reliably detect which chirps came from which individual naked mole-rat. So each naked mole-rat has its own distinctive voice. Felix Petermann/MDC hide caption

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Felix Petermann/MDC

An algorithm was able to very reliably detect which chirps came from which individual naked mole-rat. So each naked mole-rat has its own distinctive voice.

Felix Petermann/MDC

"Dialects" is one of those words tossed around a lot when talking about human language. They indicate where a speaker is from. But dialects aren't exclusive to humans; scientists have known for a while that whales and songbirds also show these variations in language. Today, NPR science correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce explains research that expands that list to include naked mole rats.

Read more of Nell's reporting on naked mole rat dialects.

Yearning for more episodes about communication between animals? Or wish we would cover something else entirely? Drop us a line at shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez, edited by Gisele Grayson and fact-checked by Rasha Aridi.