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Ways in Which Animals Communicate
Broadly speaking, "communication" can be defined as any action taken by an animal (or plant, or other organism) that alters the behavior of another animal without using physical force. Communication happens when a sender passes information to a receiver, through a physical medium that can distort or degrade the message, or contain competing messages. There are three broad categories of communication. Signals are where the sender actively tries to pass a specific message to specific receivers. Cues, such as the bright coloration of monarch butterflies that tell bird predators that they are poisonous and taste bad, are always "on" and take no effort on the part of the sender to send. Signs, such as footprints, aren't intended to communicate anything but nevertheless provide information that another animal can act upon.
Visual Ways of Communicating To attract mates, fireflies produce flashes of light. Males signal in flight, while females respond to males that they like from the ground or bushes. Each species has a different pattern so they can tell each other apart
Examples of Audial Communication Rattlesnakes use the rattles on the ends of their tails to warn other animals of their presence. They do this mainly to avoid being stepped on. Male crickets chirp to attract mates and warn off rival males. They do this by rubbing the top of one wing against the comblike teeth along the bottom of the other. Many whales and dolphins are highly social animals with a variety of calls to communicate with one another. In some species, individual animals have "signature" calls that are like their names
Bodies in Motion Honeybees have highly sophisticated dances to signal other members of their hive on the location, quantity, and quality of food sources that they've found.
The electric fields that build up on honey bees as they fly, flutter their wings, or rub body parts together may allow the insects to talk to each other, a new study suggests. Tests show that the electric fields, which can be quite strong, deflect the bees' antennae, which, in turn, provide signals to the brain through specialized organs at their bases.
Electrolocation Monotremes (for the other species, see Echidna) are the only mammals (apart from at least one species of dolphin) known to have a sense of electroreception: they locate their prey in part by detecting electric fields generated by muscular contractions. The platypus' electroreception is the most sensitive of any monotreme. The electroreceptors are located in rostrocaudal rows in the skin of the bill, while mechanoreceptors (which detect touch) are uniformly distributed across the bill. The electrosensory area of the cerebral cortex is contained within the tactile somatosensory area, and some cortical cells receive input from both electroreceptors and mechanoreceptors, suggesting a close association between the tactile and electric senses.
Weakly electric fish live in muddy water and only become active at night. In this lightless environment, weakly electric fish use their electric sense like many other animals use sight or hearing, to “see”where they are going, to find prey, and communicate with each other. They can distinguish the electrical discharge of their own species, and can further determine the size, sex, maturity and even possibly the individual identity of any fish of their own species that passes by. Eachfish, in other words, broadcasts many aspects of its identity influctuations and characteristics of its electric field. This sense, howevehas its limits.
The giant squid uses bioluminescence to hunt its prey, according to new deap-sea observations using a high definition underwater video camera system. The findings are published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Read more at news.mongabay.com...
"The most interesting bioluminescence observed was a long glow when approaching (4.4—8.5 s) and several short glows separated by intervals when wandering around the bait without attacking. We believe that this behaviour may represent attempts at communication with conspecifics using bioluminescence," the add. Read more at news.mongabay.com...
Alcon Caterpillars Are Smooth-Talking Con Artists The caterpillar of the alcon blue butterfly is kind of like Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act -- it uses the power of song to disguise its true identity and trick others into caring for it.
edit on 29-3-2013 by d8track because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by d8track
reply to post by HelenConway
What I don't understand with cats is why they wake you up at night by needing you with there claws swaying back and fourth and purring. They look like they are in some type of trance.
Can pets still sense when their human companions are on the way home, even when familiar cues and schedules are changed?
The idea of a simple, inexpensive experiment to test how pets know when their caretakers are coming home came to me in a conversation with a sceptical friend, Nicholas Humphrey. I kept coming across stories about this intriguing phenomenon, and I asked him what he thought was going on. To my surprise he did not dispute the phenomenon itself; indeed he told me that his own dog seemed to have uncanny powers. But he was quick to add that there was nothing really mysterious going on; pets were good at responding to subtle cues and often had surprisingly sharp senses.
This conversation sparked off the idea for a simple experiment. If a pet responds well in advance of the arrival of its caretaker, the possibility that its behavior is explicable simply in terms of routine anticipation or sensory stimuli can be ruled out by coming home by an unusual means and at an unusual time. Moreover, to rule out the possibility that the pet is picking up the expectations of the person waiting at home, that person should not know when the absent member of the family is due to return....
Further research in partnership with pets.....
From the Rupert Sheldrake site as cited above.
The robots do not resemble their insect counterparts; they are tiny cubes equipped with two watch motors to power the wheels that enable them to move. But their collective behaviour is remarkably ant-like Learning from natureThere are many other research and engineering projects that take inspiration from nature to solve problems or design robots, as Dr Paul Graham, a biologist from the University of Sussex, explained
Originally posted by HelenConway
reply to post by d8track
I want to know why my cat jumps on my head at 0630hrs every morning - I push her off and back she comes. So I stumble out of bed - trundle downstairs and open the back door for her - she follows me, looks outside and runs back upstairs. I mean what is the point of that !!! ????
Sounds made by a little-known monkey living in Ethiopia’s mountain grasslands may hint at the origins of human speech. Unlike most other primates, which communicate in strings of short, relatively flat-toned syllables, geladas possess uncannily human-like vocal tempos and undulations. “When we first started working with geladas in 2006, we noticed sounds like people were talking around you,” said evolutionary biologist Thore Bergman of the University of Michigan. “Most primates only make a few sounds, but geladas produce a complex stream with a rhythm similar to language.”
For territorial animals, such as beavers, "owning" a territory ensures access to food, mates and nest sites. Defending that territory can involve fights which cause injury or death. How does an animal decide whether to take on an opponent or not? A new study by Helga Tinnesand and her colleagues from the Telemark University College in Norway has found that the anal gland secretions of beavers contain information about age and social status which helps other beavers gauge their level of response to the perceived threat. The study is published online today in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. Read more at: phys.org...
Until fairly recently, many scientists thought that only humans had culture, but that idea is now being crushed by an avalanche of recent research with animals. Two new studies in monkeys and whales take the work further, showing how new cultural traditions can be formed and how conformity might help a species survive and prosper. The findings may also help researchers distinguish the differences between animal and human cultures.