Natural animal communication ways analysis
Animal Communication may be defined as the transmission of a signal from one animal to another such that the sender benefits, on average, from the response of the recipient (Pearce). According to Robert Mannell this definition allows for the inclusion of many types of behavior and permits communication to be applied to a great range of animals. Natural animal communication can include chemical signals, smell, movement, posture, facial gestures, visual signals and sound. The intent of these signals is to attract, repel, signal aggression or submission, advertise species, warn of predators, or communicate about the environment or the availability of food. These signals may be instinctive or learned from others.
Animals have many ways to communicate, whales song, wolves howl, frogs croak, and birds chirp. Honey bees wangle dance and dogs wag their tails. These are all ways animals transmit information to one another as well as other species. Animals often use verbal and nonverbal forms of communication including non-vocal auditory out bursts such as the slap of a dolphin’s tail, bioluminescence, scent marking, chemical or tactile cues, visual cues, and postural gestures.
According to Jessika Toothman not every member of a species’ acoustic communication are just alike. Animals in different regions are known to use different dialects. For example, one study found that blue whales produce different patterns of pulses, tones and pitches depending on where they’re from. Some bird species are the same way. Interestingly, birds that on the border between territories of differing songsters often become ‘bilingual’ and are capable of able of communicating in the singing parlance favored by each of their groups of neighbors.
There is evidence of communication between species as well. One study suggested that the reason Madagascan spiny-tailed iguanas have well-developed ears is so they can hear the warning calls of the Madagascan paradise flycatcher. The two species have nothing in common except for the fact that they share a general habitat and raptors like to snack on them. When an iguana hears a bird raise the alarm among other birds, it likely knows to be on alert for incoming predators as well (Toothman).
Some linguists have argued that language is a unique human behavior and that animal communication falls short of human language in a number of important ways. Humans possess an innate universal grammar that is not possessed by other species. This is demonstrated by the universality of language in human society and by the similarity of their grammars. No natural non-human system of communication shares this common grammar. Humans acquire language not because humans are more intelligent, but because humans possess some species-specific mechanisms which are a prerequisite of language-acquisition (Pearce).
Charles Hockett devised a list of thirteen criteria that animals must meet in order to regard communication as language. These design features of language are: 1) Vocal auditory channel – sounds emitted from the mouth and perceived by the auditory system. This applies to many animal communication systems, but there are many exceptions. Also, it does not apply to human sign language, which meets all the other twelve requirements. It also does not apply to written language. 2) Broadcast transmission and directional reception – this requires that the recipient can tell the direction that the signal comes from and thus the originator of the signal. 3) Rapid fading – signal lasts a short time. This is true of all systems involving sound. It doesn’t take into account audio recording technology and is also not true for written language. It tends not to apply to animal signals involving chemicals and smells which often fade slowly. 4) Interchangeability – all utterances that are understood can be produced. This is different to some communication systems where, for example, males produce one set of behaviors and females another and they are unable to interchange these messages so that males use the female signal and vice versa. 5) Total feedback – the sender of a message also perceives the message. That is, you hear what you say. This is not always true for some kinds of animal displays. 6) Specialization – the signal produced is specialized for communication and is not the side effect of some other behavior for example the panting of a dog incidentally produces the panting sound. 7) Semanticity – there is a fixed relationship between a signal and a meaning. 8) Arbitrariness – there is an arbitrary relationship between a signal and its meaning. That is, the signal is related to the meaning by convention or by instinct but has no inherent relationship with the meaning. This can be seen in different words in different languages referring to the same meaning, or to different calls of different sub-species of a single bird species having the same meaning. 9) Discreteness – language can be said to be built up from discrete units, for example phonemes in human language. Exchanging such discrete units causes a change in the meaning of a signal. This is an abrupt change, rather than a continuous change of meaning. However, speech loudness and pitch can be changed continuously without abrupt changes of meaning. 10) Displacement – communicating about things or events that are distant in time or space. Bee dancing is an example of this. 11) Productivity – language is an open system. We can potentially produce an infinite number of different messages by combining the elements differently. 12) Traditional transmission – each generation needs to learn the system of communication from the preceding generation. Many species produce the same uniform calls regardless of where they live in the range, even a range spanning several continents. Such systems can be assumed to be defined by instinct and thus by genetics, on the other hand, some animals to develop the calls of their species when raised in isolation. 13) Duality of patterning – large numbers of meaningful signals (morphemes or words) produced from a small number of meaningless units (phonemes).
Spoken human language is extremely difficult or impossible for most animals because of the structure of their vocal organs. Apes, for example, cannot produce a large proportion of the vowels and would have difficulty with some of the consonants. This may be due not only to the shapes of the vocal organs but also to the limitations of the motor centers in the brain that control these organs. Apes have been taught to use language that involves them using their hands, sign language or the manipulation of symbols. Some birds, such as certain parrots and the Indian Hill Mynah, are able to mimic human speech with great clarity. Attempt to teach such animal’s spoken human language has been made. Dolphins cannot be taught either type of language but may be able to understand sounds or gestures and to respond by pressing specially designed levers.
Just because a species doesn’t have such a communication system in the wild does not necessarily prove that they are incapable of using one. No animal communication system fulfils all of the criteria unlined by Hackett, however, in 1977 Irene Pepper berg decided to see if she could find put what was on another creatures mind by taking to it and she bought a one-year-old African gray parrot. When Pepper berg began her dialog with the parrot, who she named Alex, it was widely thought that animals were incapable of any thought, only capable of being programmed to react to stimuli, but lacking the ability to think or feel.
Certain skills such as good memory, a grasp of grammar and symbols, self-awareness, understanding others’ motives, imitating others, and being creative are considered key signs of higher mental abilities. Slowly researchers have documented these talents in other species, chipping away at what we thought made human beings distinctive while offering a glimpse of where our own abilities came from. Scrub jays know that other jays are thieves and that stashed food can spoil; sheep can recognize faces; chimpanzees use a variety of tools to probe termite mounds and even use weapons to hunt small mammals; dolphins can imitate human postures; the archerfish, which stuns insects with a sudden blast of water, can learn how to aim its squirt simply by watching an experienced fish perform the task (Morel).
Pepper berg did not claim that Alex used language saying that he used a two way communication code instead. The bird could identify 50 different objects, recognize quantities up to six, distinguish seven colors and five shapes as well as understand the concepts of bigger, smaller, same and different. Alex had a vocabulary of about 150 words and appeared to have an understanding of what he said. Pepper berg was training Alex to recognize English phonemes, in the hope that he would conceptually relate an English written word with the spoken word. He could identify sounds made by two-letter combinations such as SH and/or (Morell).
Research into non-human Great Ape language has generated a great deal of evidence suggesting that apes are capable of using sophisticated communication with humans and other apes. Gorillas and chimpanzees have been taught to form signs in sign language, arrange physical tokens in specific sequences, and operate keyboards with symbols on them. Analysis suggests that meaningful information is being conveyed by these behaviors, but it is disputed whether this phenomenon is truly language. Sign language and computer keyboards are used in primate language research because non-human primates lack vocal cords and other human speech organs. However, primates do possess the manual dexterity required for keyboard operation (“Great Ape Language”).
Bottle-nosed dolphins dominate many marine acts because of their intelligence and researchers believe much of the dolphin’s brain is used for communication. While it is not known if dolphins have a formal language, they do communicate with a signature whistle to identify themselves. Dolphins lack vocal cords but use a complicated system of whistles, squeaks, moans, trills and clicks produced by sphincter muscles within the blow hole to make sounds. Using echolocation dolphins send out frequencies by clicking. The clicking sounds bounce off objects and the returning sound waves are picked up by the dolphin’s bulbous forehead and lower jaw and interpreted as to distance, size and shape of object. This sound system is particularly useful at night or in murky waters as it allows the dolphin to navigate even if visibility is poor. Dolphins have produced sound frequencies from 0.25 to 200 kHz, using the higher frequencies for echolocation and the lower frequencies for communication and orientation (“Dolphin Communication”).
It is clear that we can communicate with some animals to some extent. Great apes have learned languages based on hand gestures and symbols. Parrots can learn to speak words, and even use those words to demonstrate feats of learning. Many animals can learn respond to hand gestures and voice commands. Research shows humans have the ability to convey meaning to animals of almost any kind. By recording animal sounds and playing them back, we can attract their attention or elicit the same behavior as the original call. In some cases researchers have modified signals and elicited modified behavior. These and other experiments help to shed light on how and to what extent animals can communicate.
“Dolphin Communication.” Beach-Netcom. Atlantic Bottle-Nosed Dolphin. (2012) Web. 9 June 2012. < http://www.beach-net.com/dolphins.html
“Great Ape Language.” Science Daily. (nd.) Web. 9 June 2012.
Hockett, Charles F. “The Origin of Speech.” Columbia.edu. September 1960. Web. 9 June 2012.
Mannell, Robert. “Animal Communcation and Language.” Macquarie University, Department of Linguistics. (1999). Web. 9 June 2012.
Morell, Virginia. “Minds of their Own.” National Geographic. March 2008. Web. 9 June 2012. < http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/03/animal-minds/virginia-morell-text/1>
Pearce, John M. Animal Learning and Cognition:An Introduction, 3rd ed. East Sussex, UK: Psychology Press, 2008. Print.
Toothman, Jessika. “How do Animals Communicate?” Animal Planet.com. 22 March 2010. Web. 7 June 2012. < http://animals.howstuffworks.com/animal-facts/animals-communicate.htm>
Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?
- Plagiarism free papers
- Timely delivery
- Any deadline
- Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
- Subject-relevant academic writer
- Adherence to paper instructions
- Ability to tackle bulk assignments
- Reasonable prices
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Get superb grades consistently
Online Academic Help With Different Subjects
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
What discipline/subjects do you deal in?
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
What if I don’t like the paper?
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
- When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
- We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.
In the event that you don’t like your paper:
- The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
- We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
- Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.
Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
What if the paper is plagiarized?
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
When will I get my paper?
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
Will anyone find out that I used your services?
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
How our Assignment Help Service Works
1. Place an order
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
2. Pay for the order
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
3. Track the progress
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
4. Download the paper
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!