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Mama Deer Respond to Human Baby Cries

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Via Flickr

Mama deer taking care of their own is one thing, but this new study has a new claim.

According to Science News, mule deer and whitetail deer will respond to the cries of human babies as long as it falls within the same frequency as fawns or young deer. This report written by Susan Lingle and Tobias Riede, said that this may be something that is actually shared across mammals.

Among mammals, humans included, we share ways of vocalizing distress. There are many factors that are involved, but the main determining factor that was determined is frequency for female deer.

They decided to test this theory first with mule deer moms by placing a speaker 100 to 200 yards away. They didn’t only test with human babies, but also seals, sea lions, cats, dogs, and others. They would play a normal call, but then manipulated the frequency to see the deer’s reaction through a spotting scope.

A positive reaction would be for the deer to head toward the speaker. During this experiment they also played a meadowlark song and sounds that we would associate with predators of deer.

They ended up seeing that as long as the frequency was correct that the deer, mule or whitetail, would come as close as 10-25 meters to the speaker. This showed us just one more way species can tell each other apart.

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Mama Deer Respond to Human Baby Cries