PEOPLE are certainly the most talkative of all animals with a spoken vocabulary of at least 40,000 words. But we are not the only creatures which can talk. Many species have their own verbal language and use it to call their young, warn others of danger or attract a mate. Although it may sound the same to us, not all lions or jungle-fowl roar or crackle exactly alike. Just as there are differences in the rendering, pitch and style in the various human languages and dialects, so are there in animal language. For example, crows in Pennsylvania understand and respond correctly to the calls of other Pennsylvania crows but may not understand crow from Maine. French crows, when hearing tape-recorded calls of their cousins from the US also responded wrongly, assembling instead of flying off in alarm. However, this is not always the case: migrate crows which travel a lot within the US have learned to understand ''foreigners'' and are multi-lingual! Researchers have listed at least 300 different sounds or words made by crows but unfortunately no one knows what most of them mean. Crows are not the only birds whose language varies from place to place. French herring gulls don't understand American herring gulls even though they are otherwise almost identical. The song of the chaffinch can vary from one valley to the next. Talking is not the only way to communicate - there are several others. Can you think of any? We will discuss them in the next issue.