The Complexity of Animal Communication

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Humans communicate in multiple ways, how do animals differ? Well the obvious differences are that animals don't talk like we do, but do they have a language of vocal sounds? Do animals communicate through visual cues such as eye contact? Touch? Smell? It turns out that animals communicate through all of these systems, just as humans do.

The Lilienfeld text briefly describes nonhuman communication in that animals mostly communicate for two reasons: sex and aggression. Chimpanzees make many vocal and visual actions to convey their anger. To mate, they literally expose their genitals to invite a mate over. The text also describes that animals will create very interesting and complex communication to inform of location of food sources or signal near predators.

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Upon reading about these few types of communication, I wondered what other kinds of communication different animals used because each species is so different. I wondered if different species could communicate with each other, if there were universal consistencies between species. As I "Googled" how do animals communicate, I found this NatureWorks website where I found a plethora of animal communication info as well as examples. Visually, animals communicate 2 ways; badges and displays. A badge is a structural adaption such as the antlers of a white-tailed deer. The bigger the antlers, the more powerful the deer appears to be. Examples of a display is when a wolf shows its teeth, stare, and raise their fur, they are showing their dominance. The website goes on to thoroughly describe auditory communications, such as echolocation in dolphins, tactile communication, and chemical communication.

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This page contains a single entry by verme040 published on October 23, 2011 12:18 PM.

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