How Do Animals Communicate?

Save

Animal communication spans far beyond barks, chirps and growls. Creatures use a vast array of signs to convey information to their companions -- and their prey. Using everything from bright visuals to smelly pheromones, animals can communicate about danger, food, friendship and more.

Vocal Communication

  • Vocal signals are one of the most prevalent ways animals communicate with one another. For example, bird songs can carry a warning to other birds of danger in the area. Certain animals, such as bats, can use sounds to locate prey. Some acoustical communication can be considerably more complex. For example, primates can respond to emotional indicators in vocal calls, such as which specific predator might be closing in.

Olfactory and Taste Communication

  • Animals can also communicate via smell and taste. Scent markers in wolf urine help the canines mark their territory and food caches. Honey bees use pheromones to communicate many facets of their society, such as reproduction, defense and food collection. Ants too leave for their fellow ants pheromone trails that lead to food sources. Some female moths also use scents to indicate that they are ready to mate.

Tactile Communication

  • Animals can also communicate through tactile signals. One example is the grooming performed by primates such as chimpanzees. This grooming helps build tighter relationships. Tactile communication can also take the form of aggressive behavior, such as biting or scratching. Duration is an important part of tactile communication. A nip may be a sign of playing while a hard bite might signal something more serious, such as a real fight.

Visual Communication

  • Visual signals are also important in the animal world. Many birds use bright feathers to assert territorial dominance. Colors can also be used for mating. The more brightly colored male birds' plumage or tails are, the more likely they are to attract females looking for the most fit mate. Animals also use color as a form of defense. Certain frogs are brightly colored, signalling that they are poisonous, preventing predators from eating them.

References

  • Photo Credit kikkerdirk/iStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

  • How Do Termites Communicate?

    Termites are social insects that, like ants and bees, have highly organized colonies headed by a queen. They are remarkable engineers, building...

  • How to Understand Cat Language

    How cats talk with meows, purrs, body language and other methods of communication, and what their communication means.

  • Types of Communication in Animals

    Animals have a need to communicate just like humans. Animal communication is used to scare off predators, find a mate, help find...

  • How Do Gorillas Communicate?

    Gorillas communicate in a variety of ways, including whimpering, chest thumping, grunting and howling. Discover all of the different ways that gorillas...

  • How Do Cheetahs Communicate?

    Cheetahs communicate vocally through hissing, growling and purring, but their throats are designed differently than lions making it impossible for them to...

  • How Do Tigers Communicate?

    Tigers communicate through body language, vocal noises and markings on trees. Find out how tigers mark their territory, greet other tigers and...

  • How Do Lions Communicate?

    Lions communicate in a variety of ways, including the use of scent, body language and, of course, their roar. Discover how male...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Build and Grow a Salad Garden On Your Balcony

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!