Animal communication can be defined as the provision of information that benefits the sender that is ensured by influencing the receiver into a response; this is known as a signal. Signals can be behavioural, physiological or morphological characteristics formed or preserved by natural selection because they allow communication between animals (Otte 1974). However animals also posses the ability to inadvertently produce stimuli, that can be exploited by other animals in a process known as eavesdropping. When an animal provides information in this manner it is known as a cue (Bradbury and Vehrencamp 1998).
Communication when regarded from a functional and evolutionary point of view is a social adaptation. The activity and presence of living organisms in a given environment will directly affect the continued survival and reproductive success of an animal either of the same species or different. Thus sexual and natural selection has and will continue to determine the ability animals have in exchanging information. Communication is a complex process that uses different sensory channels to send and receive information. The use of visual, tactile, chemical, auditory and electrical signals by different living organisms allows them to exchange information however complex, over varying distances at different rates. Communication as a social adaptation has many purposes ranging from use in agonistic interactions, mating rituals to food related signals. This includes the large multi-coloured feathered tail of the peafowl that is used to charm and excite members of the opposite sex when selecting sexual partners (Ruse 2008). Through evolutionary development whole brain structures have arisen, solely devoted to controlling the Syrinx, the vocal organ some birds use to convey fitness in sexual selection rituals (Read and Weary 1990). Even the small red spot on a herring’s bill that may seem insignificant has a complex evolutionary explanation (Drury and Smith 1968). Understanding communication from an evolutionary perspective means pin pointing various selective pressures that are responsible for the differences in how animals communicate and what information they exchange.
The first step to understanding the evolution of communication, is understanding the processes by which an animal that was previously lacking in a vital feature and behaviour acquired it. For example Julian Huxley and Edmund Selous were the first to describe the means by which evolution worked in the production animal displays such as that of threat and courtship (Lorenz 1966). They noticed that a large amount of the movements that governed communication were similar, if slightly different to the movements that were used in completely different functions in the normal everyday activity of an animal (Lorenz 1966). Julian Huxley and Edmund Selous made evident that communication movements had evolved from everyday activity of an animal, and named this process reutilization (Lorenz 1966). Ritualized movements are easily recognizable and are one of the fastest evolutionary processes that affect undomesticated animals. This can be seen by the comparative studies that show the dissimilarities of species that are closely related. The comparative study of closely related species can show that certain movements can be interoperated to depict communication between a signal sender and receiver. These movements would otherwise show no communicative function in their most primitive forms. The ability for these ritualised movements to grow in to more specialised and complicated signals can be depicted by the study of grass finches done by Desmond Morris (Morris 1958). The primitive beak wiping movement used for a preening function was observed in many of the species, however in some of the species this movement has been developed to be used as a signal during courtship (Morris 1958).
...AnimalCommunication: Whales vs Elephants
Unlike humans, animals do not have a complex language system, but they do in fact have their own means of communication. Their main purpose is for survival and some may not even be aware they are doing it. The two mammals I chose to compare are whales and elephants and their reasons for communicating and channels of communication. Some reasons for communicating may include procreation, dominance and territorial rights, food, and alarms. Channels of communication can include tactile, chemical, visual, acoustic, and electric. Elephant communication mostly intraspecific while whale communication can be interspecific because dolphins can sometimes understand their signals.
Reasons for communication
When looking for a mate, a male humpback whale proves he is fit by “singing”. This type of communication is called “whale songs” because the sounds they make have melodies similar to human music. “The songs of humpback whales can be between five and 30 minutes long (Bright 1984).” (Kirtley 176). Breaching is also sometimes used to show affection. Besides trying to find a mate, sperm whales use clicking sounds to tell the rest of the whales in the group who they are. Whales also use their body in a number of ways to alarm others. One method is called “spyhopping” where they surface their head...
...The Evolution of CommunicationCommunications is a field and industry as diverse as it is important. The concept of human communications is one that has been evolving alongside man himself. Early communications involved primitive, shallow exchanges among local people, while today, we are able to communicate across the world in a seemingly infinite number of ways. For all of its complexities, the concept ofcommunication is very simple: relaying a piece of information from one or more humans to others. In this way, the evolution of human communication sheds light onto both the way we as humans communicate and the significance of communications.
From the early days of human civilization, the idea of communications was quite primitive. Cavemen would communicate through basic sounds and gestures, much the way animals communicate (Halualani 23). Accordingly, there was no mass communications, save for the cave paintings found on cave walls centuries later. These early paintings serve as a form of communications by early cave men, elevating their primitive communication methods to lasting symbols that impacted the future of human communication.
A huge step forward in communications was the written word, which came thousands of years ago, when...
...Communication has evolved greatly due to advances in technology. This essay is broken into three main parts. Firstly, I will outline some of the major inventions that have shaped the way people communicate today. I will argue that communication has improved due to technological advances and explain why technology has had a positive effect on communication in general. Furthermore, I will describe some of the communication standards necessary for public sector officials to apply, so that the level of integrity the public expects is preserved. Whilst looking at these standards I will apply them to the Queensland Police Service.
Technology has been an essential aspect to the evolution of communication. Without technology human interaction would be confined to oral interaction, symbols, and face to face meetings. The invention of writing and the alphabet has enabled humans to communicate with each other over distance and time (Deal, 2008). Communication was no longer restricted to oral encounters and communicating information no longer relied primarily on memory. The need for a system that could accurately record information arose, and with that the invention of the printing press allowed for standardised recordings of ideas, concepts, and knowledge (Wilcox, 2004).
Before the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, books where handwritten and often filled with errors...
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...
...AnimalCommunicationAnimalcommunication is any behavior on the part of one animal that has an effect on the current or future behaviour of another animal. The study of animalcommunication, sometimes called Zoosemiotics (distinguishable from anthroposemiotics, the study of human communication) has played an important part in the methodology of ethology, sociobiology, and the study ofanimal cognition.
Animalcommunication, 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.
Forms of communication
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 that was important in the history of ethnology was the parent 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...
...Effective communication is important in business dealing with employees and outsiders, such as vendors and clients. Because accounting is an intrinsic part of any business, good communication skills are vital in this area. Important financial tasks such as budget preparation and reporting, bill paying, payroll and recording income need to be presented properly to management and others to be useful and meaningful.
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The most important use of accounting data is to communicate meaningful information, allowing management to make good decisions. To be effective, accounting information must make sense and be understood.; or else, it is just a list of numbers with no real significance. Many businesses use templates for internal reports to communicate information in a matter that is familiar and easy to use by management. For example, departments may get "actual versus budget" reports every month, using the same format, facilitating understanding and analysis.
Another important user of accounting information is the investor, who wants to know how a business is doing financially. Usually this type of information is communicated through standard reports, such as balance sheets and income statements, compiled using generally accepted accounting principles.
A balance sheet shows assets, including cash,...
The term communication is freely used by everyone in modern society, including members
of the general public, organizational behavior scholars, and management practitioners. In
addition, the term is employed to explain a multitude of sins both in the society as a whole
and in work organizations. Despite this widespread usage, very few members of the general
public—and not a great many more management people—can precisely define the
term. Part of the problem is that communication experts have not agreed on a definition
Most definitions of communication used in organizational behavior literature stress the
use of symbols to transfer the meaning of information. For example, one analysis stresses
that communication is the understanding not of the visible but of the invisible and hidden.
These hidden and symbolic elements embedded in the culture give meaning to the visible
communication process.5 Of equal, if not more, importance, however, is the fact that communication
is a personal process that involves the exchange of behaviors and information.
Today, of course, this personal process is not just face-to-face, but is increasingly carried
out electronically through Facebook, MySpace, blogs, wikis, texting, mobile phones, and
e-mail.6 Although associated with emerging Web 2.0 technologies, the still personal
aspects have been noted in no uncertain terms...
...interpersonal communications. Whether the communication is through a working or a personal one, getting the points across effectively is the main goal. Communication is a process of relating ideas or facts with other people. You may think of communication as only verbal, but the fact is there are several ways to relate messages, and I will discuss a few of those choices. Effective listening is also a key skill when it comes to communicating. The purpose is to be able to not just hear the communicator but to listen and understand to the best of your ability. We cannot survive unless there is some type of interpersonal communications.
We need to know why we communicate and there are four reasons:
1. Physical needs: A lack of social relationships could jeopardize your health (Alder, Towne p.4). I have heard through Medical Research that a comatose patience can respond to a familiar voice.
2. Social Needs: Helping to define who we are. Communication provides a vital link with others (Alder, Towne p.4)
3. Identity Needs: Our sense of identity comes from the way we interact with other people (Alder, Towne p.4)
4. Practical Goals: Getting others to behave in ways we want (Alder, Towne p.4).
For whatever reason there is, we can be always be sure there will be a reason to commute a message to another party.
Nonverbal communication is a way of sending messages other than...