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ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

I. DEFINED
-PROVISION OF INFORMATION BY A SENDER TO A RECEIVER, AND THE
SUBSEQUENT USE OF THAT INFORMATION BY THE RECEIVER IN DECIDING
HOW TO RESPOND.
SIGNAL: VEHICLE OF INFORMATION
1) MUST PROVIDE (POTENTIAL) BENEFIT TO SENDER AND THE RECEIVER

-SO, AN OWL HEARING A MOUSE MOVE AND USING THIS SOUND TO LOCALIZE IT
IS NOT COMMUNICATION
-SOUND MOVEMENT: CUE, NOT SIGNAL
-OWL HEARING: EAVESDROPPING, NOT COMMUNICATING

II. SIGNAL COMPONENTS:


SIGNAL CONTENT WHAT DOES THE SIGNAL CONVEY?

SIGNAL DESIGN HOW IS THE SIGNAL DESIGNED TO BEST CONVEY THE


CONTENT TO THE RECEIVER

- SUBJECT TO SELECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND OF


THE RECEIVER BIASES
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION
III. CONTEXT

A. PARENT OFFSPRING

BEGGING IN CHICKS

-BEGGING SIGNALS HUNGER STATE (SIGNAL CONTENT)


-MORE ACTIVE (LOUD AND FREQUENT) GETS MORE FOOD
TEST: FLYCATCHERS BY OTTOSON ET AL. 87

-MALE OR FEMALE FITTED WITH CHIP


THAT ACTIVATES RECORDING OF
BEGGING UPON APPROACH
-PARENT WITH CHIP FED THE CHICKS
MORE OFTEN THAN PARENTS
WITHOUT CHIPS
-SUGGESTS THAT BEGGING
COMMUNICATES HUNGER STATUS OF
CHICK
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION
III. CONTEXT

A. PARENT OFFSPRING

DISTRESS AND HELP CALL IN CROCODILES

- EGGS ARE LAID IN NESTS THAT HARDEN

1. UPON HATCHING, YOUNG CROCODILE CALL FOR HELP TO BREAK FREE

2. WHEN THREATEND, YOUNG


CROCODILES CALL FOR HELP

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/cnhc/potm-oct00.html
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION
III. CONTEXT

B. GROUP COMMUNICATION: RECOGNITION OF KIN IN A LARGE GROUP

e.g., RHESUS MACAQUES BY RENDALL ET AL. 96

-LIVE IN GROUPS
-CAN INDIVIDUALS RECOGNIZE
KIN BASED ON VOCALIZATIONS
CONTACT CALLS
-RECORDED AND PLAYED BACK
RECORDINGS TO SEE RESPONSE
-SIGNIFICANTLY RESPONDED TO
KIN: QUICKER AND LONGER
-SUGGESTS THAT CALL IS
FOR RECOGNITION
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION
III. CONTEXT

B. DOMINANCE: AVOID CONFLICT

-FIGHTS CAN BE VERY COSTLY, SO ANIMALS


SHOULD EVOLVE SIGNALS TO AVOID
PHYSICAL FIGHTS SIGNALS!
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

III. CONTEXT

C. PREY TO PREDATOR

1. GAZELLLE STOTTING REDUCES LIKELIHOOD OF CHASE


& CAPTURE

SIGNAL OF GAZELLE CONDITION? BY FITZPATRICK AND FANSHAWE

SIGNAL INDIVIDUAL CONDITION


ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

III. CONTEXT

C. PREY TO PREDATOR

2. UNPALATIBILITY OR TOXICITY POISON-DART FROGS (DONDROBATIDS)

Both groups have batrachotoxins,


neurotoxins that cause paralysis.

PITOHUIS OF NEW GUINEA


ANIMAL COMMUNICATION
IV. MODES OF COMMUNICATION IN VERTEBRATES

A. VISUAL: BASED ON COLOR AND BLACK & WHITE CONTRASTS

B. SMELL: BASED ON CHEMICALS (OLFACTORY SIGNALS)

C. SOUND: BASED ON DISTURBANCES OF A MEDIUM LIKE AIR OR WATER


(AUDITORY)

D. TOUCH: BASED ON STIMULATING SENSORS ON THE SKIN (TACTILE)

E. ELECTRICAL: BASED ON CHANGING OF ELECTRICAL FIELDS


ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF


COMMUNICATION

1. FISHES: VISUAL, OLFACTORY AND ELECTRICAL

clown fish, Amphiprion


ocellaris

http://malawicichlids.com/index.htm

Paracheirodon axelrodi (red neon tetra)


ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF


COMMUNICATION

1. FISHES: VISUAL, OLFACTORY AND ELECTRICAL

Trinidad Guppy (Poecilia reticulata)


dimorphic males smaller and colorful,
females drab and larger
native to Trinidad &Venezuela

females prefer colorful males


ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF COMMUNICATION

1. FISHES: VISUAL, OLFACTORY AND ELECTRICAL

electric fish: fish that


can perceive and create
an electric field
Can generate100V to
stun prey
Primarily used like a
radar but also used in
communication,
especially mate choice
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF


COMMUNICATION

1. FISHES: VISUAL, OLFACTORY AND ELECTRICAL

electric fish mate choice by


ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES:


PREDOMINANT MODES OF COMMUNICATION

1. FISHES: VISUAL, OLFACTORY AND ELECTRICAL

olfactory (chemical) signaling in minnows and pikes

FLATHEAD MINNOW BY CHIVERS AND


COLLEAGUES
-WHEN MINNOW IS TAKEN BY PIKE,
RELEASES CHEMICAL CUES
-ATTRACTS OTHER PIKE AND
INCREASES HANDLING TIME
SOMETIMES ALLOW FOR ESCAPE
(5 OF 13 IN THE EXPERIMENT DID)
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF COMMUNICATION

2. AMPHIBIANS: VISUAL, AUDITORY AND OLFACTORY

VISUAL Poison dart frogs

Preference for own Color


two color forms of Dendrobates
pumilo in Panama
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF COMMUNICATION

2. AMPHIBIANS: VISUAL, AUDITORY AND OLFACTORY

AUDITORY

-males call out in


Spring
-females prefer
(approach) long calls
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF COMMUNICATION

2. AMPHIBIANS: VISUAL, AUDITORY AND OLFACTORY

AUDITORY AND VISUAL ARE NECESSARY!

e.g., Poison Dart Frog by Narins and colleagues

Is call and visible vocal sac necessary?

-just calls, no fake frog: approach, no aggression

-calls with various visual signals: see graph

*Need both sound and pulsating vocal sac


to initiate aggression
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF COMMUNICATION

2. AMPHIBIANS: VISUAL AND OLFACTORY

OLFACTORY SALAMANDER

Many salamanders use chemical secretion to mark territories and to attract mates

e.g., California Slender Salamander


-tested with moss with own chemicals vs. foreign
-more aggressive (ATR trunk raised) and retreat
behavior when smelling foreign chemical
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF COMMUNICATION

3. REPTILES: VISUAL AND OLFACTORY

VISUAL ANOLIS DEWLAP PUSH UP DISPLAYS FENCE LIZARDS AND


AUSTRALIAN AGAMIDS

THREAT DISPLAYS ARE USED TO DEFEND


TERRITORIES
http://galliform.bhs.mq.edu.au/lizard2/
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES:


PREDOMINANT MODES OF COMMUNICATION

3. REPTILES: VISUAL AND OLFACTORY

OLFACTORY MARSHALL LIZARD

e.g. Lacerta monticola lizard by Martin and Lopez


ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF


COMMUNICATION

4. BIRDS: VISUAL AND AUDITORY


ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF


COMMUNICATION

4. BIRDS: VISUAL AND AUDITORY

VISUAL SIGNALS VOGELKOP BOWERBIRDS


ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF


COMMUNICATION

4. BIRDS: VISUAL AND AUDITORY

AUDITORY Song Sparrow


ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF


COMMUNICATION

4. BIRDS: VISUAL ANDAUDITORY

usually both, in a complex courtship

e.g., White-collared manakins in Central America

- complex dance, which involves rapid flight between samplings near ground
- extension of elaborate and bright plumage
- vocalizations (grunts)
- snapping of wing feathers
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF


COMMUNICATION

5. MAMMALS: VISUAL, OLFACTORY AND AUDITORY (ALSO TOUCH)

-BODY SIZE
-WEAPON SIZE
-PHYSICAL BATTLES
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES: PREDOMINANT MODES OF COMMUNICATION

5. MAMMALS: VISUAL, OLFACTORY AND AUDITORY

e.g., fallow deer by Clutton-Brock and colleagues


-males aggregate in leks to attract females
-groan rate correlates with mating success
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES:


PREDOMINANT MODES OF COMMUNICATION

5. MAMMALS: VISUAL, OLFACTORY AND AUDITORY


e.g., olfactory Humans and MHC

experiment men wore shirt for two nights in a row,


and women were blindfolded and allowed to
sniff shirts. Choose most attractive smell and
relate this to MHC alleles

results 1:

women not taking oral contraceptives:


found disimilar males more attractive than
similar males

women taking contraceptives: found similar


males more attractive than dissimilar males

frequency
results 2: odors of MHC-dissimilar men
reminded women of their ex- or current
partners more often than MCH-similar males
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION

V. GENERAL OVERVIEW IN VERTEBRATES:


PREDOMINANT MODES OF COMMUNICATION

5. MAMMALS: VISUAL, OLFACTORY


AND AUDITORY (ALSO TOUCH)

e.g., all four in wolves

urine and chemicals from


scent glands communicate
territory

wolves reciprocally groom


aggressive: teeth exposed,
ears and hair erect pack mates social bonds

howling: long-distance signaling to


pack
growling: aggressive
whimpering: submissive

submissive: ears tucked,


body low
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION Phylloscopus warblers of India

VI. SIGNAL DESIGN


HOW DO SIGNALS EVOLVE?
A. BASED ON ECOLOGICAL FACTORS
e.g., VISUAL SIGNALS

-ANIMAL SIGNALS HAVE TO CONTRAST THE


ENVIRONMENT (NOISE) AND BE CONSPICUOUS
-ENVIRONMENT SHOULD SELECT FOR SPECIFIC
SIGNALS THAT BEST FIT THAT ENVIRONMENT
(PART OF PROCESS CALLED SENSORY DRIVE)

-e.g., IN DARK HABITATS, MORE BRIGHT PATCHES


THAN OPEN HABITATS
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION
VI. SIGNAL DESIGN
HOW DO SIGNALS EVOLVE?
A. BASED ON ECOLOGICAL FACTORS
Karen Marchetti (UCSD) on Phylloscopus warblers of India

Number of Bright Patches Correlate with Lighting


Conditions
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION
VI. SIGNAL DESIGN
HOW DO SIGNALS EVOLVE?
B. BASED ON RECEIVER PHYSIOLOGY

e.g., Rodd and colleagues work on


guppies
-Females prefer orange males
-But different populations have different
degree of preference for orange and
amount of orange in males
-guppies feed on orange fruits that fall to
the rivers
-tested several different food types, most
populations preferred orange food
-extent of preference for orange related to
extent of preference for orange males!