Animal Communication - Paper

Topics: Predation, Communication, Animal communication Pages: 5 (2000 words) Published: December 1, 2005
Animal Communication

People communicating with animals has been portrayed in movies and in real life. In the movie Dr. Doolittle a man can actually here what animals are saying and carry on conversations with these animals, but in real life some people who communicate with animals use a technique called telepathy. Debbie McGillivray is a woman who works as an animal communicator said this, "Communicating with an animal is a two way process, there is a sender and a receiver. Through telepathy, when I ask an animal a question, I receive from them pictures, feelings, words, thoughts and emotions. For example, if I were to ask a horse what part of his body was sore I may feel pain in an area of my body that corresponds to his, i.e. wrists - fetlock, knees - hocks, hands/feet - hooves, etc. The horse may also send me a picture of the area or send me a picture of him moving to show me the lame area. Sometimes the animal will even show or tell me how the injury happened. I act as the translator and the voice for the animal and take all this information and put it into words for the person to understand." Debbie along with many other humans believe they can achieve communication through this process; however, there are some scientist who prefer to work with animals such as apes or chimpanzees by teaching them sign language, pictures, keyboards, symbols, even speech and or the mocking or sounds, and numerous other techniques.

Communication between animals can be an important aspect of understanding why and how they communicate. Only through communication can one animal influence behavior of another. Animals may communicate by sounds, scents, touch, and movement. Any sensory channel may be used, giving animal communication richness and variety. Communication of animals consists of a limited repertoire of signals. Typically, each signal conveys one and only one message. A single message from a sender may, however, contain several bits of relevant information for a receiver. A display is a kind of behavior or series of behaviors that serves communication. The release of sex attractant by a female moth, the dances of bees, the alarm calls of herring gulls, and "eyespots" on the hind wings used by certain moths to startle potential predators are all examples of displays. The exaggerated nature of the displays ensures that the message is not missed or misunderstood. Such displays are essential to establish and maintain a strong pair bond between male and female. This requirement also explains the repetitious nature of displays that follow one another throughout courtship and until lying of eggs. Repetitious displays maintain a state of mutual stimulation between male and female, ensuring the cooperation necessary for copulation and subsequent incubation and care of young. This can be classified as interspecies communication and is described as the majority of animal communication; however it occurs within a single species and this is the context in which it has been most intensively studied. 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 emphasize a distinctive body part. An example would be the Herring Gull's presentation of its bill to a chick in the nest. Like many gulls, the Herring Gull has a brightly colored bill, yellow with a red spot on the lower mandible near the tip. 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. Another important form of...
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