Deep in every jungle and desert, on the mountains and plains, animals are in constant conversation with each other - but they’re not using words. Whether their gestures are obvious even to humans, or buried deep within a blizzard of other movements, almost every creature on the planet uses body language to send signals and messages.

These may be directed at creatures that are perceived as a threat, or at members of its own species for the purposes of mating, defence, or to uphold a social structure. Researchers have spent years studying the body language some species use to communicate with each other, and are making major breakthroughs. Communication in some animals is well-studied, while others still present mysteries to science. Scientists from around the world help us to decode the incredible world of animal communication like never before. Behavioural ecologist Elena Hobkirk reveals how wolves use their body language to unite the pack and maintain a sophisticated social structure. They’re highly social and need to form a tight-knit team to hunt down prey together. She’s unlocking a detailed and subtle form of communication in wolf facial expressions. Her research seems to suggest that wolves have evolved to communicate via facial expressions, much as we do. For sheer range and versatility of body language, the chimps have almost every other animal beat! Primatologist Catherine Hobaiter shares amazing insights gained over eleven years researching chimpanzee gestures. She’s identified about eighty gestures and believes this system of communication can be traced back to our last common ancestor, begging the question – is there a little bit of chimp left in us all? Do these highly sophisticated apes hold the key to understanding the development of our own language? New research is revealing that there may be more overlap between humans and wild animals than we thought.