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Animal communication

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  • blobby green style avatar for user Lydia  Revier
    Why do scientists never use the word "language" to describe animal communication? Most animals don't seam to use communication complex enough to be called language, but what about dolphins? I have heard that they use unique sets of sound to signify who is giving information, much like a name. If this and other patterns are occurring in vocalizations, wouldn't that constitute language?
    (12 votes)
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    • leaf blue style avatar for user Nye Rhys Potter
      Though what you say is true I don't think there's a lot of evidence for cultural transmission of language within dolphin groups. Most of their communication is through innate noises rather than an evolving lexicon with complex grammar. Also it is unlikely that they are able to describe mental time travel i.e. events that happened in the past or will happen in the future. These are aspects unique to human language.
      (6 votes)
  • leafers ultimate style avatar for user ff142
    aren't visual cues a type of nonverbal cues?
    (6 votes)
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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user adrian.perez
    do animals know how to communicate from the day they're born?
    (4 votes)
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  • spunky sam green style avatar for user Bonney, Sierra; 200609208
    if an new specie is involve of animals how will it effect them?
    (3 votes)
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  • boggle green style avatar for user yibo
    So when dogs come to greet you, I assumed it was because they liked you but after this video I am not sure. Do you know a valid reason why dogs like to meet random strangers?
    (1 vote)
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  • piceratops seedling style avatar for user Stuffedbrain
    how to sharks communicate or foxes they dont make a sound
    (0 votes)
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    • female robot grace style avatar for user Fire Bird
      Different sharks communicate within their own species in different ways; for example, the great white sharks can communicate with each other by gaping their jaws while the gray reef sharks communicate using their senses of sight and touch. In general, sharks are not believed to have linguistic communication abilities, relying instead on other senses to communicate.
      Hope this helps!
      (2 votes)
  • starky seed style avatar for user Ramneek
    if a new species gets introduced, what if they have a different way of communicating and
    they don't actually have a way of communicating.
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user 30krcollier
    Can different animals use these types of animal communications on each other?
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user fadipedeborahpdf
    is behavioural consideration in animal housing important and stating examples of a named species
    (1 vote)
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    • leafers ultimate style avatar for user WolfOfBlackHeart
      Stallions (male horses that can breed) can be aggresive with eatchother and can be aggresive when they smell a mare in heat (A Mare (Female horse) has an Esterus Cycle) and may try to get to the mare , proper stabling or stable fencing in a paddock or pasture is Extremly important, for the stallions saftey as well as for the saftey of other horses , Livestock , and other animals .. as well as for humans and property, this is the best awsner i can think of, your question was weirdly stated
      (1 vote)

Video transcript

- [Voiceover] When humans communicate with one another, they tend to rely on a few things. So, first of all, we rely on language. We use it to communicate our ideas, thoughts and feelings, and also to respond to the ideas, thoughts and feelings of others. We also use a bunch of nonverbal cues, so we smile when we're happy, we frown when we're sad, we can tell if the people around us are anxious or angry. And we also use visual cues. So if I painted every room in my house black and blasted Metallica all day, I would be sending out different signals, different cues about myself, than if I was to paint every room in my house pink and cover everything in posters of ballerinas and unicorns. And other animals besides humans have ways of communicating as well. Maybe not with language per se, but with lots of different nonverbal cues and visual cues. As well as many other types of communication that aren't used by humans. And while we'll go over all of those different types of communications in a separate video, I wanted to take a little bit of time to talk about why animals communicate and why this is necessary. So one question we might want to ask is, "Who are animals communicating with?" So some species of animals might use different types of vocalization to communicate with members of the same species. But animals can also communicate with other animals that are not in their species. So, for example, some types of frogs use really bright colors to signal that they're toxic, which will let other animals know not to eat them. And of course, animals can also communicate with humans. Every morning my cats let me know when it's time for me to wake up and feed them. Or, at least, when they feel that I should wake up and feed them. But there's also autocommunication, so animals can also use communication to give information to themselves, and that's kind of a trickier one, but I think the best example might be bats and echolocation. So bats send out a signal, and then when that signal bounces back, they're able to gain information about the things in their environment. Alright, so animals can use communication to give information to themselves, to members of their same species, and also members of other species. But what type of information are these animals trying to convey? What is the main function of animal communication? Well, the first one would be mating rituals. Animals can produce a multitude of signals as a way to attract the opposite sex. Some are really brightly colors, others do complicated dances, and some do specific verbal calls. Animals also use communication to proclaim ownership or territory or to defend territory. So basically it's a way of telling other animals to back off. And I had birds as pets in my house when I was growing up, and my birds were extremely kind, they would sit on your shoulder, they would try to eat all of your food, and they were just generally really social. When they laid eggs, they got really territorial. They would basically try to take your finger off if you got too close to them. Another function of animal communication is food communication. So, signalling to other animals where they can find food. There's also alarm calls, or cases where animals will try to warn others about the presence of a predator. Animals can also use communication as a way to signal dominance and submission. So, for example, after dogs fight, they might adapt different stances to indicate who came out on top. But one thing I want to make sure to say, before we actually go into really talking about all of the different ways that animals can use to communicate, is that I want to say that, while it's clear that animals do communicate, both which each other and with us as humans, we need to be really careful that we don't put too much thought into this. We need to be careful not to anthropomorphize, or attribute too many human characteristics to nonhuman animals. So we can try to interpret and try to ascribe meaning to the actions of animals, but we can never really be certain that we are correct, because we can't really ask the animals what they mean. So my cats sleep with me at night, and they usually sit with me when I'm on the couch, and I would like to assume that it's because they love me and want to be with me, but it's possible that they're also only trying to keep physical contact with me because I produce a lot of body heat. And that it is that motivation rather than love that explains my cats' behaviors.