Whaaa waa wa! Well we have all done that…some of us a bit too much. But as an infant, those pitiful, wailing, woeful sobs of discontent serve not only a purpose of alerting moms of something needed but also as an identifier.
In a recent study, science tells a tale of the obvious; mothers respond to their infant crying. (The study included moms from all different species, us among them.) But what was a bit interesting is how important that crying is to survival. Mothers, who were not allowed to hear their child’s cry through the test’s design, soon lost interest (or something close to that) to the point of causing failure to thrive in the infant. Not only did the crying stimulate a nurturing response, it also helped mothers identify their children.
Pinnipeds which include seals, walruses and sea lions, are quite famous for identifying their young by the sound of their cries within colonies of hundreds of other crying babies. Penguins, along with other colony nesting birds, come back to the nest after fishing to the cacophony of thousands of squawking babies, all hungry, all begging any adult bird that strolls by for food. So mom has to be able to deliver her hard won prize to his or her own child and they do that by the sound of their child’s voice and that voice alone. Mother alligators can identify the cries of their own nest among the numerous others by the peeping of babies just breaking out of the shell still laying their earthen lair.
Consider this. Science created a test to determine if mothers could identify their child’s cry from others and if that crying was the mechanism for nurturing. Maybe I am in the minority but really…Duh!
I’m not quite sure what they were validating when they just had to ask some mom’s if they could ID their baby by sound. (In this case I mean human moms.)
However I was encouraged that the world of science gathered a variety of animals for their test subjects, including us, and those findings were spread across the board. In other words, moms and children are moms and children- no matter what form they take. Another small link in the realization that we are all part of The One and there not need be boundaries in how we treat each other, whether we have two legs, four legs, fur, fin or feather. We are all part of the Circle.