Is it true that animals can really speak? How does an animal’s communication work out with humans? What are the forms of communication that animals can do?
With over a million animal species on earth, we cannot deny the truth that their homes are a place of diversity. A lot of facts about animals that are still unknown to humans could blow our minds, like how they communicate with other organisms. Yes, you heard that right. Just like a human, animals also have their own way of communication, and it is amazing how it works.
Animals Use Different Forms of Communication
Since not all animals have the same ability to speak, other forms of communication have been developed and widely used by different species with regards to their survival instincts. Just like the WiFi connection on the internet, animals can become transmitter and acceptors of their own language visually, auditory, chemically and physically
- Visual Communication
This form of communication gives off graphical gestures, body movements, and color classification from the animal sender to the receiver. Although it looks appealing, it is still considered less practical to use for animals especially if they are too far from each other. It is used if and only if they are close enough to see their actions.
For example, when a bee finds a source of honey they use dancing as a form of communication to call out the swarm of bees in the hive. Bees dance to show the location of their food. On the other hand, Stanley Coren PhD., DSc, FRSC explains that “there is a bit of data that suggests that if dogs already know both the voice command and the hand signal, you will tend to get a more reliable performance by using the visual signal in most instances.”
2. Auditory Communication
The most common form of communication for animals is the auditory communication. It involves the expression of sound emission like growling for wolves, barking for dogs, whistling for dolphins, and clicking for beetles.
Unlike visual communication, auditory communication is the most reliable form of communication that can be used even for long distances. Auditory communication may be produced from two different origins—the vocal cord and the organs. For example, birds communicate with other birds through chirping which is created by their vocal cord, whereas crickets communicate by producing rhythmic vibration from their forewings or arms.
3. Chemical Communication
Chemical communication, also known as odor communication, is something that involves animals leaving their chemical markings to distinguish their own domains. It is the most prehistoric form of communication among the others. Just like auditory communication, it can also pass through long-distance places. For example, dogs use their urine to indicate borders of a particular territory.
4. Physical Communication
Also known as tactile communication, it sends information by using the sense of touch. Animals use this form of communication to transfer messages by showing attachment, pleasure, and anticipation. It works for animals that are especially blind. For example, termites cannot see, so they use the organs in their legs to feel actions. Additionally, termites often knock their head into their colony’s tunnel to warn each other of the dangerous predators that are coming.
“We have seen that animal communication consists of a variety of signals that are both rigid and inflexible,” Herbert S. Terrace Ph.D. says.
Animal Communication Can Help You In Dealing With Problems
Animals have a lot of similarities with human beings especially in the way they can communicate by sending and receiving information in different forms of communication. They can relay their message of desires, necessities, and responses to the environment by signal transmission. Hence, the understanding of how animals communicate with each other is important for both the animal world and the human world because it can actually help you in dealing with problems.
Since animals have their exclusive experiences, they know things that humans do not. For example, animals can see what is in your mind. Communicating with animals can solve emotional and human behavioral problems like depression and phobias. It eases high-stress levels when traveling. It can heal shock and rebalance you from abusive situations you have undergone. It can also resolve problems like separation anxiety.
“We must be very careful about making sweeping generalizations about the cognitive and emotional capacities of other animals,” Marc Bekoff Ph.D. reminds. Our world may be weird, but it could also be wonderful in so many ways. Learning to communicate with animals will teach you to recognize and to respect different forms of life, making us better persons in this world.
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