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Episode 2

Episode 2 of 2

Documentary. Lucy Cooke is a zoologist and animal explorer on a worldwide quest to crack the animal code. Lucy finds out how animals communicate with their friends and enemies.

Lucy Cooke is a zoologist and animal explorer on a worldwide quest to crack the animal code. In programme two, Lucy meets up with scientists who are finding out how animals communicate with their friends and enemies - and even what they say to the neighbours.

Lucy's first stop is in Africa, where she meets the spotted hyena and discovers just how complex their calls are. She learns that they call for help when they're outnumbered and can count how many adversaries they face by listening to their enemies' calls. Lucy says hello to the chippy chickadee in California - Lucy learns that this little bird has a sophisticated alarm system that rates the level of threat depending on the predator they face.

In Kenya, Lucy uses an ornamental leopard, a wooden snake and a hawk-shaped kite to trick some vervet monkeys into warning each other of danger. When the monkeys' calls and behaviours are different for each fake predator it's clear they can identify the threat and issue each other with detailed escape plans. Lucy is introduced to the only bat in the world that can eavesdrop on frogs, and she witnesses the first recorded instance of animals communicating using infrared - a heated discussion between a Californian ground squirrel and a rattlesnake.

Next, Lucy wants to explore how animals communicate with their friends. She learns that horses recognise their friends and that dolphins don't just greet each other - they all have unique signatures or names. For the final leg of her journey, Lucy meets two incredible birds who talk to their neighbours - the fork-tailed drongo mimics other species to trick nearby meerkats into giving up their food. But it's the greater honeyguide's conversation with its human neighbours that Lucy finds particularly profound and moving.

1 hour

Last on

Sat 20 Oct 2018 10:00

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Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes


Role Contributor
Presenter Lucy Cooke
Executive Producer Cate Hall
Director Kim Maddever


  • Thu 17 Jul 2014 20:00
  • Wed 13 Aug 2014 08:00
  • Sun 26 Oct 2014 15:00
  • Sat 20 Oct 2018 10:00

Meet the experts

Find out more about the experts and the animals they talk to!

Lucy's blog post: “I had to hide in the van with a net on my head between shots”

Read the BBC Love TV Blog for some awkward, and profound, moments from filming.