5 Eerily Sophisticated Ways Animals Communicate

#2. Peruvian Warbling Antbirds Argue Over Infidelity

Glenn Bartley / Getty

Peruvian warbling antbirds live in mated pairs that are fiercely territorial, which essentially makes them just like every childless suburban couple that lived on your street growing up. However, rather than discouraging others from wandering onto their property by chaining up a three-legged dog they found tossed in the SPCA dumpster after two failed gassings, the antbirds will belt out a powerful duet in perfect harmony to let everybody know that they live there. It's all very sweet, in its own way ... until a single female antbird comes sauntering along.

At this point, the male in the couple immediately adjusts his song to a type of mating call to lure her over. You know, just to be neighborly. "Come over! Maybe we'll cook some dinner, have a little wine, groom the feathers on my little bird boner ..." Divorce, it seems, shatters as many antbird homes as it does ours.

He comes and sits on the eggs every other weekend.

At this point, the female in the couple will begin to actively jam her mate's amorous crooning by singing arrhythmically over him and queering his pitch. The male, of course, tries to sing over her, and before long they're in a musical domestic dispute, which is not anywhere near as whimsical as it appears in My Fair Lady.

Discover Magazine

#1. Geckos Order Food

Gustavo Mazzarollo, Karl Lehmann / Getty

One thing humans and geckos have in common (apart from an intense loathing of overpriced car insurance) is that both species would prefer to have food delivered to them rather than gather up the old Hamburger Helper box and half an onion left in the cupboard and try to scrape together a meal that won't shotgun diarrhea through the bottom of the toilet. The day gecko of Madagascar seems to have learned how to do this by getting deliveries from tiny green insects called treehoppers.

Robert Oelman / Getty
"As soon as you read the next paragraph, I get a lot less cute."

Treehoppers drill into, um, trees, to drink the sap inside. After digesting the sap, they excrete a sugary liquid called honeydew, so named for reasons that cannot approach rational explanation. Day geckos love the stuff, and the treehoppers accept takeout orders. The gecko will approach the insect and nod its head methodically, as if it's appraising the furniture. The treehopper responds by shaking around and firing a translucent shit pellet into the gecko's face. The lizard then eagerly laps it up, and we're telling you right now that the video of this is about a hundred times freakier than we can put into words:

The gecko walks right up to it and nods, and the insect shoots the shit right into his mouth like he'd just ordered it out of a vending machine. It isn't clear what exactly the treehoppers get out of this exchange. Scientists think that maybe the geckos scare other predators away that would straight-up eat the treehoppers rather than just their sugar poop. Or maybe the treehoppers were tired of having to pay to get their carpets steam-cleaned after every meal.

Gatorade marketing team, start taking notes.

Monte Richard is a columnist for DaftGadgets.com, or you can check out his blog.

For more on ways animals will kill us, check out 6 Modern Technologies Animals Invented Millions of Years Ago and The 7 Most Impressive Examples of Animal Architecture.

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