Welcome to the How to Speak Animal Blog Tour!
To celebrate the release of National Geographic Kids’ How to Speak Animal on August 16th and World Animal Day on October 4th, this week blogs across the web will feature special excerpts from the book, sharing fascinating insight into the secret language of animals of all shapes and sizes. If you’ve ever wondered why ants touch antennae when they meet, what it means when a cichlid fish pees, or why turkeys gobble, this is the blog tour (and book!) for you!
How to Speak…RIVER OTTER
River otters can leave behind a scent marking, or strong odor, by rolling on the ground or rubbing an armful of leaves across their body. They may also pee or poo, leaving a scent. Their poo is sometimes called spraint. Each otter has a unique odor, so these scent messages tell other otters their identity, gender, whether they are looking for a mate, and how long it’s been since they’ve left the scent behind. Scent can also be used to mark their territory. This scent message comes from a gland near the base of the otter’s furry tail.
Depending on the species, otters can make as many as 22 different vocalizations. They scream when they are excited. They coo when they interact with one another. Otters also shriek when they are disturbed. Other sounds include barks, growls, whistles, moans, chirps, and snarls.
Otters are best known for being playful. They twist, turn, dive, and slide around in mud, snow, and water. This helps strengthen their bond with each other. It’s a way of saying, “I like you.” And it’s an important part of their communication that scientists believe is helpful in the mating and hunting processes.
Otters are buoyant, which means they can float. But sea otters are a little more buoyant than river otters, so sea otters actually sleep on their backs while floating on the water. Mother otters will hold the paws of their babies, called pups, as they sleep so they don’t drift apart. Sea otters also use kelp, which is seaweed that grows from the bottom of the ocean floor, as an anchor. They wrap it around their bodies to stay in place.
Learn about the secret language of wild animals in this exciting and informative guide from the experts who brought you How to Speak Cat and How to Speak Dog.
We know animals can’t speak and express themselves in the same way as humans … but even the smallest and quietest animals have incredible ways of communicating with each other. With wildlife veterinarian expert Dr. Gabby Wild as a guide, How to Speak Animal helps kids understand how animals communicate through sound, body language, and behavior. It’s full of expert insights and real-life stories of humans exploring ways to “talk” to animals, from teaching great apes sign language to speaking “dolphin.” Packed with super-engaging animal photography that helps illustrate key concepts, this fascinating bookprofiles more than 60 different creatures―from birds to mammals to reptiles and more―and their amazing ways of communicating with each other.
If you’ve ever wondered why gorillas beat their chests and make hooting noises, what it means when chameleons change color, or why some elephants twist their trunks together, this is the book for you!
About the Authors
DR. GABBY WILD earned her bachelor of science and doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degrees at Cornell University. She completed her veterinary internship training at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital in Akron, Ohio, and received her master’s of public health (MPH) from the University of Minnesota. She is a published genetics researcher and uses her research background to screen zoonotic disease transmission among wildlife, domestic animals, and people. To help maintain a healthy planet, she monitors herd and individual health for rising epidemics. Dr. Wild balances her Western medicine practices with traditional Chinese medicine in an effort to blend both methodologies. Acclaimed for her role as “the veterinarian” on Animal Jam, the world’s largest online “playground,” with 54 million players, she creates educational videos and teaches children internationally about wildlife conservation and medicine. When not in the wild, Gabby works as a Wildlife Health Program veterinarian for the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo and is a training veterinary surgeon at the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island. She lives in New York City.
AUBRE ANDRUS is an award-winning children’s book author with dozens of books published by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, American Girl, Disney, Scholastic, and more. She has also ghostwritten books for young YouTube stars. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her family.
- Five (5) winners will receive a copy of How to Speak Animal
- US/Canada only
- Ends 10/2 at 11:59pm ET
- Enter via the Rafflecopter below
- Visit the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!
Blog Tour Schedule:
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.