Thursday, November 29, 2012

Koshik the Elephant Has A Lot To Say! (Literally!)

Welcome back everyone! As usual, I’ll start with the updates before going to the “new stuff”. I don’t know about you, but I had a terrific Thanksgiving. After I published my latest entry, my family and I went to dinner at someone’s house. It was a good dinner too! I hope you also had a great Thanksgiving!

Now that it’s after Thanksgiving, people are finally getting their Christmas decorations out and singing Christmas songs. I tell ya’, Christmas is coming very fast this year. In fact, it’s only: 26 days till Christmas! This in and of itself is shocking (at least to me anyway). I mean, it seems like Harvest Day was just upon us. Now Christmas is here!

After you are finished reading today’s entry, (and if you are interested in body care products), be sure to check out my Mom’s blog at indigobirch. There you will find what my Mom sells. She actually does a lot of stuff, including making body butters, bug sprays, felted objects (such as hats) and etc. But best of all, it’s all 100% natural! So if that’s the sort of stuff you’re interested in, be sure to check it out!

As of today, I am glad to inform you that my latest stop-motion film:  Animal Face-Off: Velociraptor vs. Ankylosaur”, is 100% finished! We will view it briefly, but first, let me share with you something that I found quite . . . “interesting”.

Before we do that however, first let’s take this short quiz:

Which of these animals talk in human languages:

A. Parrot
B. Elephant
C. Seal
D. Dog

(Please don’t look at the answer before taking the quiz) The answer is: All of the above. Yes you read right! Contrary to popular belief, some animals do a lot more than make sounds. Recently, a bull Asian Elephant from South Korea named Koshik (pronounced Koe-shick) has learned to say a variety of human words! I’m not kidding! Don’t try to understand him though, unless you speak fluid Korean that is, because that’s what he speaks: Korean. Some of the words he can say are the Korean words for: “yes”, “no”, “sit”, “lie down” and four other words. While we English-speaking folks can’t understand him, people who speak Korean understand what he is saying very well. How can this elephant accomplish this astounding feat? Well, at first scientists were baffled as to how he can do this. But finally, they figured it out – the elephant puts his trunk into his mouth when he wants to speak, similar to when humans stick their fingers in their mouths to whistle. Further studies will hopefully prove whether Koshik is really understanding what he is saying, or just mimicking the words he’s heard humans say. Either way, this is still very amazing. Check out the video below to learn more about Koshik:

Believe it or not, Koshik is not the first elephant to speak. There are others. Another talking elephant is Batyr who lived in a zoo in Kazakhstan. He was able to say over 20 phrases and many people believe that he actually meant what he was saying. Some of his words and phrases include: “Batyr is good,” and he used his name with the following words: “drink” and “give”, among many other words and phrases. What I don’t understand, is why talking animals don’t get much recognition. I mean seriously, most people believe that animals (other than parrots) are incapable of talking in human languages. There are many, many more animals who have learned a variety of words in the human language. So let’s look at a few more!

Everyone knows parrots can talk. But did you know that parrots actually know what they saying and are not merely just calling out words? Take Alex for example. Alex was an African Grey Parrot and was the focus of study for the animal psychologist Dr. Irene Pepperberg. Alex could identify 50 different objects and recognize quantities up to the number six. He could also tell the difference between seven colors, five shapes, and he even knew the concepts of bigger, smaller, same, different, under and over. He was also able to show emotions such as anger and surprise. One day, he even asked Pepperberg what color he was. He then learned that he was “grey”, after being told six times. He also knew how to ask for something. If he says “Wanna banana,” you’d better give him a banana. If given something other than a banana, such as a nut, he would either stare at it before requesting a banana again, or he would throw the nut at the researcher and ask for the banana later. This must know what he is saying!

When George and Alice Swallow saw an orphan harbor seal pup, they couldn’t resist taking it home. Little did they know, they were in for a big surprise. At first this seal didn’t want to eat, but that was until he found the pace of a vacuum cleaner and gulped it down, hence his name: Hoover! It was here that Hoover started to learn about his, *ahem*, un-seal-like qualities. Once Hoover was eventually moved to the New England Aquarium, he started bossing visitors around. He even said stuff like, “Get outta here!” and “Well hello Deah”, in a New England accent, of course! This seal definitely had a lot to say! So next time you go to the seal exhibit at the zoo, don’t be surprised if the seal slides up to the glass and has a little chat!

(This was the only video I could find of Hooper, sorry if it is a little hard to hear him. Hooper's voice is the one that sounds more muffled)

Wow, now you know the facts – talking animals are not only in fairy tales! They are very real! These are just a few of a majority of talking animals. It is amazing that such creatures have learned the ability to mimic human languages and in some cases, actually know how to use the words. But while admiring these amazing creatures, we mustn’t lose sight of the reason these animals are here in the first place. Ages ago (approx. 6,000 years ago to be precise), God created all the animals. He made them especially for us to enjoy, study and to give testimony to the creator Himself. But what is really cool is that not only did He want to take time to create everything in the universe, He also wants to take the time to develop a relationship with you. He wants you to know Him personally through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ so that we may fellowship with Him and actually know the Creator Himself. Would you like to start a relationship with God right now? Please see THE BLOOD THIRSTY LION?” for more details.

Alright, I’ve had you waiting long enough! It is time to see who would win in a fight between Velociraptor and the ankylosaur. Now before I reveal the face-off, let’s take a brief but close look at the animals in today’s face-off:

Since we already discussed the Velociraptor (check last week’s post) I’ll just talk about the ankylosaur today.

Pinacosaurus (this picture was taken from:

In this episode of “Animal Face-Off”, only the “kind” name is given (for definition of “kind”, please check the link). In other words, the species name isn’t spoken, so what species is it? Well, the species that most closely fits the description of the ankylosaur in the video is called Pinacosaurus, a medium-sized ankylosaur found in middle Asia. It was a huge behemoth, about 15 feet long and weighing six tons. The ankylosaur is covered with rows upon rows of special spikes called scutes. God made these on the ankylosaur to protect the back, neck and head from predators. And underneath that is fused bone. Even the eyelids of these beasts are hard. As if this wasn’t enough, it also sported a club on the end of its tail that was used to whack or kill potential predators. It could be swung at 40 mph and hit with the force of 2 ½ tons of force! That’s a lot! However, the ankylosaur’s brain isn’t very large. So is it possible that our Velociraptors can outsmart the ankylosaur? Well, I’d say it’s time to find out. Let’s find out once and for all which dinosaur would win in this face-off: “Velociraptor vs. Ankylosaur”:

Shocking fight huh? I bet not many people expected that! How did you like the face-off? Please be sure to voice your opinion by making comments! I’d really appreciate it!

Well, that’s pretty much everything that’s happening around here, so be sure to check back next week as we see which animal will win in a fight between Ankylosaurus, and everyone’s favorite carnivore: Tyrannosaurus rex! See you next time!

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