Animal communication is any behaviour on the part of one animal that has an effect on the current or future behaviour of another animal. Behavior or behaviour (see spelling differences) refers to the actions or Reactions of an object or Organism, usually The study of animal communication, sometimes called zoosemiotics (distinguishable from anthroposemiotics, the study of human communication) has played an important part in the development of ethology, sociobiology, and the study of animal cognition. Human communication, or Anthroposemiotics, is the field dedicated to understanding how people communicate with themselves Intrapersonal communication Ethology ( from Greek ἦθος ethos, "character" and λόγος logos, "knowledge") is the scientific study of Animal Sociobiology is a neo-Darwinian and Socialism Synthesis of Scientific disciplines that attempts to explain Social behavior Animal cognition is the title given to a modern approach to the mental capacities of (non-human Animals.
Animal communication, and indeed the understanding of the animal world in general, is a rapidly growing field, and even in the 21st century so far, many prior understandings related to diverse fields such as personal symbolic name use, animal emotions, animal culture and learning, and even sexual conduct, long thought to be well understood, have been revolutionized. A name ( Etymology: from OE nama akin to OHG namo, Latin Nomen, and Greek όνομα ( Emotion in animals considers the question of whether certain species of non-human Animals feel emotions in the sense that humans understand it Animal husbandry, also called Animal science, stockbreeding or simple husbandry, is the agricultural practice of breeding Ethology ( from Greek ἦθος ethos, "character" and λόγος logos, "knowledge") is the scientific study of Animal Animal sexual behaviour takes many different forms even within the same Species.
The best known forms of communication involve the display of distinctive body parts, or distinctive bodily movements; often these occur in combination, so a distinctive movement acts to reveal or emphasise a distinctive body part. An example that was important in the history of ethology was the parent Herring Gull's presentation of its bill to a chick in the nest. The Herring Gull, Larus argentatus, is a large Gull (up to 26 inches or 66 cm long and is the most abundant and best known of all gulls along the shores of Like many gulls, the Herring Gull has a brightly coloured bill, yellow with a red spot on the lower mandible near the tip. Gulls (often informally Seagulls) are birds in the family Laridae When it returns to the nest with food, the parent stands over its chick and taps the bill on the ground in front of it; this elicits a begging response from a hungry chick (pecking at the red spot), which stimulates the parent to regurgitate food in front of it. The complete signal therefore involves a distinctive morphological feature (body part), the red-spotted bill, and a distinctive movement (tapping towards the ground) which makes the red spot highly visible to the chick. Investigations by Niko Tinbergen and his colleagues showed that the red colour of the bill, and its high contrast, are crucial for eliciting the appropriate response from the chick (It is unresolved whether this actually is an inborn behavior in all its complexity, or simply a combination of generalized curiosity on part of the chick, and generalized parental/feeding instincts acting together to produce a simple learning process via reward. Nikolaas "Niko" Tinbergen ( April 15, 1907 &ndash December 21, 1988) was a Dutch ethologist and Ornithologist Gull chicks peck at everything that is brightly colored, mainly red, yellow, white or shining, high-contrast objects, but the parent's bill is the only such object that will constantly yield food as a reward when pecked at. Accidental swallowing of pieces of brightly colored plastic or glass is a common cause of mortality amongst gull chicks).
Another important form of communication is bird song, usually performed mainly by males, though in some species the sexes sing in alternation (this is called duetting). Bird vocalization includes both Bird calls and bird songs In non-technical use bird songs are the bird sounds that are melodious to the human ear Duetting is a term derived from the word " Duet " which means a musical performance especially a song sung by two people Bird song is just the best known case of vocal communication; other instances include the warning cries of many monkeys, the territorial calls of gibbons, and the mating calls of many species of frog. A monkey is any member of either the New World monkeys or Old World monkeys two of the three groupings of Simian Primates the third group being Gibbons are the small Apes in the family Hylobatidae. The family is divided into four genera based on their Diploid Chromosome This article is about the block cipher algorithm For the ultrafast laser pulse measurement technique see Frequency-resolved optical gating.
Less obvious (except in a few cases) is olfactory communication. Olfaction (also known as olfactics or smell) refers to the Sense of smell. Many mammals, in particular, have glands that generate distinctive and long-lasting smells, and have corresponding behaviours that leave these smells in places where they have been. Often the scented substance is introduced into urine or feces. Urine is a liquid waste product of the body secreted by the Kidneys by a process of filtration from Blood and Excreted through the Urethra. Feces, faeces, or fæces (see spelling differences) is a waste product from an animal's digestive tract expelled through the Anus Sometimes it is distributed through sweat, though this does not leave a semi-permanent mark as scents deposited on the ground do. Some animals have glands on their bodies whose sole function appears to be to deposit scent marks: for example Mongolian gerbils have a scent gland on their stomachs, and a characteristic ventral rubbing action that deposits scent from it. Meriones unguiculatus is a Rodent belonging to Subfamily Gerbillinae. Golden hamsters and cats have scent glands on their flanks, and deposit scent by rubbing their sides against objects; cats also have scent glands on their foreheads. The Syrian or Golden Hamster, Mesocricetus auratus, is a very well-known member of the Rodent Subfamily Cricetinae, the WikipediaManual of Style (spelling, articles should conform to one overall spelling style of English typically the one most linked to the article topic (if it is geographic Bees carry with them a pouch of material from the hive which they release as they reenter, the smell of which indicates if they are a part of the hive and grants their safe entry.
Most of these forms of communication can also be used for interspecific communication.
While there are as many kinds of communication as there are kinds of social behaviour, a number of functions have been studied in particular detail. They include:
It is important to note that whilst many gestures and actions have common, stereotypical meanings, researchers regularly seem to find that animal communication is often more complex and subtle than previously believed, and that the same gesture may have multiple distinct meanings depending on context and other behaviors. A stereotype (from Greek: stereo + týpos = "solid impression" is a generalized perception of first impressions behaviors presumed by a group So generalizations such as "X means Y" are often, but not always accurate. For example, even a simple domestic dog's tail wag may be used in subtlely different ways to convey many meanings including:
Combined with other body language, in a specific context, many gestures such as yawns, direction of vision, and so on all convey meaning. The dog ( Canis lupus familiaris) is a domesticated Subspecies of the gray wolf, a Mammal of the Canidae family of the order Food is any substance usually composed primarily of Carbohydrates Fats water and/or Proteins that can be eaten or drunk by an This article is about playthings For other uses of the term see Toy (disambiguation. Thus statements that a particular action "means" something should always be interpreted to mean "often means" something. As with human beings, who may smile or hug or stand a particular way for multiple reasons, many animals reuse gestures too.
The sender and receiver of a communication may be of the same species or of different species. In Biology, a species is one of the basic units of Biological classification and a Taxonomic rank. The majority of animal communication is intraspecific (between two or more individuals of the same species). However, there are some important instances of interspecific communication. Also, the possibility of interspecific communication, and the form it takes, is an important test of some theoretical models of animal communication.
The majority of animal communication occurs within a single species, and this is the context in which it has been most intensively studied. The European Starling, Common Starling or just Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, is a Passerine Bird in the family
Most of the forms and functions of communication described above are relevant to intra-species communication.
Many examples of communication take place between members of different species.
If a prey animal moves or makes a noise in such a way that a predator can detect and capture it, that fits the definition of "communication" given above. Nonetheless, we do not feel comfortable talking about it as communication. Our discomfort suggests that we should modify the definition of communication in some way, either by saying that communication should generally be to the adaptive advantage of the communicator, or by saying that it involves something more than the inevitable consequence of the animal going about its ordinary life.
There are however some actions of prey species that are clearly communications to actual or potential predators. A good example is warning colouration: species such as wasps that are capable of harming potential predators are often brightly coloured, and this modifies the behaviour of the predator, who either instinctively or as the result of experience will avoid attacking such an animal. A wasp is any Insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is neither a Bee nor Ant. Some forms of mimicry fall in the same category: for example hoverflies are coloured in the same way as wasps, and although they are unable to sting, the strong avoidance of wasps by predators gives the hoverfly some protection. Biological mimicry occurs when a group of organisms the mimics, have Flies in the Diptera family Syrphidae are commonly known as hoverflies, flower flies, or Syrphid flies. There are also behavioral changes that act in a similar way to warning colouration. For example, canines such as wolves and coyotes may adopt an aggressive posture, such as growling with their teeth bared, to indicate they will fight if necessary, and rattlesnakes use their well-known rattle to warn potential predators of their poisonous bite. The grey wolf or gray wolf ( Canis lupus) also known as the timber wolf or simply wolf, is a Mammal of the order Carnivora The coyote (kaɪˈoʊti ˈkaɪoʊt ( Canis latrans) also known as the prairie wolf, is a Mammal of the order Carnivora Rattlesnakes are a group of venomous Snakes, genera Crotalus and Sistrurus. Sometimes, a behavioral change and warning colouration will be combined, as in certain species of amphibians which have a brightly coloured belly, but on which the rest of their body is coloured to blend in with their surroundings. Prehistoric amphibian Amphibians (class Amphibia such as Frogs Toads Salamanders Newts Gymnophiona, Sirens and When confronted with a potential threat, they show their belly, indicating that they are poisonous in some way.
Another example of prey to predator communication, is referred to as a pursuit-deterrent signal. Pursuit-deterrent signals occur when prey indicates to a predator that pursuit would be unproﬁtable because the signaler is prepared to escape. Pursuit-deterrent signals provide a beneﬁt to both the signaler and receiver; they prevent the sender from wasting time and energy ﬂeeing, and they prevent the receiver from investing in a costly pursuit that is unlikely to result in capture. Such signals can advertise prey’s ability to escape, and reﬂect phenotypic condition (quality advertisement), or can advertise that the prey has detected the predator (perception advertisement). Pursuit-deterrent signals have been reported for a wide variety of taxa, including ﬁsh (Godin and Davis 1995), lizards (Cooper et al. 2004), ungulates (Caro 1995), rabbits (Holley 1993), primates (Zuberbuhler et al. 1997), rodents (Shelley and Blumstein 2005, Clark 2005), and birds (Alvarez 1993, Murphy 2006, 2007). The most familiar example of quality advertisement pursuit-deterrent signal is stotting, a pronounced combination of running while simultaneously hopping shown by some antelopes such as Thomson's gazelle in the presence of a predator. Antelope are Ruminant hoofed Mammals of the family Bovidae in the order of Even-toed ungulates. The Thomson's gazelle ( Eudorcas thomsoni) is one of the best-known Gazelles It is named after explorer Joseph Thomson, and is often referred to as the " Research has shown that stotting communicates to the predator that the particular individual has the energy needed to outrun the predator, and so is not worth pursuing (Caro 1995).
Some predators communicate to prey in ways that change their behaviour and make them easier to catch, in effect deceiving them. A well-known example is the angler fish, which has a fleshy growth protruding from its forehead and dangling in front of its jaws; smaller fish try to take the lure, and in so doing are perfectly placed for the angler fish to eat them. Anglerfish are the members of the order Lophiiformes. They are bony fish named for their characteristic mode of Predation, wherein a fleshy
Interspecies communication also occurs in various kinds of mutualism and symbiosis. Mutualism is a Biological interaction between individuals of two different Species, where both individuals derive a fitness benefit for example increased This article is about the biological phenomenon for other uses see Symbiosis (disambiguation The term symbiosis (from the Greek For example, in the cleaner fish/grouper system, groupers signal their availability for cleaning by adopting a particular posture at a cleaning station. Cleaner fish are Fishes that provide a service to other fish species by removing dead Skin and Parasites This is an example of Mutualism, an For other meanings see Grouper (disambiguation. Groupers are Fish of any of a number of genera in the subfamily Epinephelinae of A cleaning station is a location where Fish and other marine life congregate to be cleaned
Various ways in which humans interpret the behaviour of domestic animals, or give commands to them, fit the definition of interspecies communication. Depending on the context, they might be considered to be predator to prey communication, or to reflect forms of commensalism. The recent experiments on animal language are perhaps the most sophisticated attempt yet to establish human/animal communication, though their relation to natural animal communication is uncertain. Animal language is the modeling of human language in non human animal systems
The importance of communication is clear from the fact that animals have evolved elaborate body parts to facilitate it. They include some of the most striking structures in the animal kingdom, such as the peacock's tail. The term peafowl refers to Gallinaceous Birds classified within the genera Rheinardia Argusianus Afropavoand Pavo Birdsong appears to have brain structures entirely devoted to its production. But even the red spot on a herring gull's bill, and the modest but characteristic bowing behaviour that displays it, require evolutionary explanation. The Herring Gull, Larus argentatus, is a large Gull (up to 26 inches or 66 cm long and is the most abundant and best known of all gulls along the shores of
There are two aspects to the required explanation:
Significant contributions to the first of these problems were made by Konrad Lorenz and other early ethologists. Konrad Zacharias Lorenz ( November 7, 1903 in Vienna &ndash February 27, 1989 in Vienna) was an Austrian Ethology ( from Greek ἦθος ethos, "character" and λόγος logos, "knowledge") is the scientific study of Animal By comparing related species within groups, they showed that movements and body parts that in the primitive forms had no communicative function could be "captured" in a context where communication would be functional for one or both partners, and could evolve into a more elaborate, specialised form. For example, Desmond Morris showed in a study of grass finches that a beak-wiping response occurred in a range of species, serving a preening function, but that in some species this had been elaborated into a courtship signal. For the Australian rugby league footballer coach and administrator see Des Morris Desmond John Morris (born 24 January 1928 Finches are Passerine Birds often Seed -eating found chiefly in the northern hemisphere and Africa. Personal grooming (also called titivating) is the art of cleaning grooming and maintaining parts of the body Courtship is the traditional dating period before engagement and marriage
The second problem has been more controversial. The early ethologists assumed that communication occurred for the good of the species as a whole, but this would require a process of group selection which is believed to be mathematically impossible in the evolution of sexually reproducing animals. In Evolutionary biology, group selection refers to the idea that Alleles can become fixed or spread in a population because of the benefits they bestow on groups regardless eVolution is the third Album by eLDee, it was due to be released in 2008 Sociobiologists argued that behaviours that benefited a whole group of animals might emerge as a result of selection pressures acting solely on the individual. Sociobiology is a neo-Darwinian and Socialism Synthesis of Scientific disciplines that attempts to explain Social behavior A gene-centered view of evolution proposes that behaviors that enabled a gene to become wider established within a population would become positively selected for, even if their effect on individuals or the species as a whole was detrimental. The gene-centered view of evolution, gene selection theory or selfish gene theory holds that Natural selection acts through differential survival of competing History See also History of genetics The existence of genes was first suggested by Gregor Mendel (1822-1884 who in the 1860s studied inheritance  In the case of communication, an important discussion by John Krebs and Richard Dawkins established hypotheses for the evolution of such apparently altruistic or mutualistic communications as alarm calls and courtship signals to emerge under individual selection. John Richard Krebs Baron Krebs FRS (born April 11, 1945, Sheffield) is a world leader in Zoology and more specifically bird behaviour Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL (born 26 March 1941 is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and Popular science Altruism is selfless concern for the welfare of others It is a traditional Virtue in many cultures and central to many religious traditions This led to the realisation that communication might not always be "honest" (indeed, there are some obvious examples where it is not, as in mimicry). Biological mimicry occurs when a group of organisms the mimics, have The possibility of evolutionarily stable dishonest communication has been the subject of much controversy, with Amotz Zahavi in particular arguing that it cannot exist in the long term. Amotz Zahavi ( Hebrew: אמוץ זהבי) (born 1928 is an Israeli evolutionary biologist, a Professor Emeritus at the Zoology Sociobiologists have also been concerned with the evolution of apparently excessive signalling structures such as the peacock's tail; it is widely thought that these can only emerge as a result of sexual selection, which can create a positive feedback process that leads to the rapid exaggeration of a characteristic that confers an advantage in a competitive mate-selection situation. Sexual selection is the Theory proposed by Charles Darwin that states that certain evolutionary traits can be explained by Intraspecific competition Positive feedback, sometimes referred to as "cumulative causation" is a Feedback loop system in which the system responds to perturbation in the same direction
Ethologists and sociobiologists have characteristically analysed animal communication in terms of more or less automatic responses to stimuli, without raising the question of whether the animals concerned understand the meaning of the signals they emit and receive. That is a key question in animal cognition. Animal cognition is the title given to a modern approach to the mental capacities of (non-human Animals. There are some signalling systems that seem to demand a more advanced understanding. A much discussed example is the use of alarm calls by vervet monkeys. Robert Seyfarth and Dorothy Cheney showed that these animals emit different alarm calls in the presence of different predators (leopards, eagles, and snakes), and the monkeys that hear the calls respond appropriately - but that this ability develops over time, and also takes into account the experience of the individual emitting the call. The leopard (lɛpɚd Panthera pardus) is an Old World Mammal of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four roaring Eagles are large birds of prey which are members of the Bird order Falconiformes and family Accipitridae, and belong to several genera A snake is an elongate Reptile of the suborder Serpentes Like all reptiles snakes are covered in scales. Metacommunication, discussed above, also seems to require a more sophisticated cognitive process.
A recently published paper demonstrated that bottlenose dolphins can recognize identity information from whistles even when otherwise stripped of the characteristics of the whistle; making dolphins the only animals other than humans that have been shown to transmit identity information independent of the caller’s voice or location. The paper concludes that:
“ The fact that signature whistle shape carries identity information independent from voice features presents the possibility to use these whistles as referential signals, either addressing individuals or referring to them, similar to the use of names in humans. Given the cognitive abilities of bottlenose dolphins, their vocal learning and copying skills, and their fission–fusion social structure, this possibility is an intriguing one that demands further investigation. ”
- V. M. Janik, et al. 
Another controversial issue is the extent to which humans have behaviours that resemble animal communication, or whether all such communication has disappeared as a result of our linguistic capacity. Some of our bodily features - eyebrows, beards and moustaches, deep adult male voices, perhaps female breasts - strongly resemble adaptations to producing signals. Ethologists such as Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt have argued that facial gestures such as smiling, grimacing, and the eye-brow flash on greeting are universal human communicative signals that can be related to corresponding signals in other primates. Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt is founder of the field of Human Ethology. A primate is a member of the biological order Primates ( Latin: "prime first rank" the group that contains Lemurs the Aye-aye Given the recency with which spoken language has emerged, it is likely that human body language does include some more or less involuntary responses that have a similar origin to the communication we see in other animals. Body language is a term for Communication using Body movements or Gestures instead of or in addition to sounds verbal language or other communication
Humans also often seek to mimic animals' communicative signals in order to interact with the animals. For example, cats have a mild affiliative response involving closing their eyes; humans often close their eyes towards a pet cat to establish a tolerant relationship. A pet is an Animal kept for companionship and enjoyment or a househeld animal as opposed to Livestock, Laboratory animals Working animals Stroking, petting and rubbing pet animals are all actions that probably work through their natural patterns of interspecific communication.
For linguistics, the interest of animal communication systems lies in their similarities to and differences from human language:
A recent and interesting area of development is the discovery that the use of syntax in language, and the ability to produce "sentences", is not limited to humans either. In Linguistics, syntax (from Ancient Greek grc συν- syn-, "together" and grc τάξις táxis, "arrangement" is the In Linguistics, a sentence is a grammatical unit of one or more words bearing minimal syntactic relation to the words that precede or follow it often preceded and followed  The first good evidence of syntax in non-humans, reported in 2006, is from the greater spot-nosed monkey (Cercopithecus Nictitans) of Nigeria. The Greater Spot-nosed Monkey or Putty-nosed monkey ( Cercopithecus nictitans) is one of the smallest Old World monkeys It is a Guenon of Nigeria, officially named the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal Constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and one Federal This is the first evidence that some animals can take discrete units of communication, and build them up into a sequence which then carries a different meaning from the individual "words":