Posts Tagged ‘Communication’

Birds Communicate Reproductive Success In Song

June 19, 2008

Some migratory songbirds figure out the best place to live by eavesdropping on the singing of others that successfully have had baby birds — a communication and behavioral trait so strong that researchers playing recorded songs induced them to nest in places they otherwise would have avoided.

This suggests that songbirds have more complex communication abilities than had previously been understood, researchers say, and that these “social cues” can be as or more important than the physical environment of a site.

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Insects Use Plants Like A Telephone

April 29, 2008

Dutch ecologist Roxina Soler and her colleagues have discovered that subterranean and aboveground herbivorous insects can communicate with each other by using plants as telephones. Subterranean insects issue chemical warning signals via the leaves of the plant. This way, aboveground insects are alerted that the plant is already ‘occupied’.

Aboveground, leaf-eating insects prefer plants that have not yet been occupied by subterranean root-eating insects. Subterranean insects emit chemical signals via the leaves of the plant, which warn the aboveground insects about their presence. This messaging enables spatially-separated insects to avoid each other, so that they do not unintentionally compete for the same plant.

In recent years it has been discovered that different types of aboveground insects develop slowly if they feed on plants that also have subterranean residents and vice versa. It seems that a mechanism has developed via natural selection, which enables the subterranean and aboveground insects to detect each other. This avoids unnecessary competition.

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Zoo visitors get a chance to talk to animals

April 2, 2008

Ever wondered what animals are really thinking? Now could be the time to find out, as Blackpool Zoo gives visitors the chance to be Dr DoLittle for a day.

The Education Team at the popular attraction have discovered a unique way of communicating with the animals by using simple phonetic sounds, and they want visitors to give it a go over the next two weeks.

Anybody passing through the zoo’s gates will be given an information sheet with simple instructions on how to strike up a conversation with the animals.

Blackpool Zoo’s animal communications expert Paul Bamford has helped develop the unique language and has been using it to communicate with the zoo’s animals.

Paul explained: “We have discovered that the animals react to certain sounds and when the sounds are articulated in a way that mimics’ the particular animal you are trying to communicate with they seem to understand.

“An animal’s vocabulary is restricted. However, through this study, we have been able to attached meanings to certain phonetic sounds.”


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