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Animal Behavior: Signaling and Communication

Problems

Signal Types: Mechanisms and Relative Advantages

Vocal Learning

Problem :

What type of signaling are hormones, pheromones and allomones involved in?

Hormones act in signaling within the body. Pheromones signal between members of a species. Allomones signal between different species.

Problem :

What characteristics of visual signals distinguishes them from chemical signals, aside from type of reception.

Visual signals are received in real time, unlike chemical signals, which are often left behind and found much later. This means that most visual signals are dynamic, whereas chemical signals tend to be static. Also, visual signals can be seen by members of different species.

Problem :

What are the costs and benefits of acoustic signals?

Acoustic signals are energetically costly to produce. However, they can have a much greater range than other types of signaling.

Problem :

Honeybee scouts return to their hives after finding food and perform an intricate signaling dance that tells other bees where the food can be found. What type of information is imparted by this dance?

The honeybee dance provides representational information, that is, information about the environment external to the sender.

Problem :

What are two limitations of visual signaling?

Visual signaling requires a direct line of sight between sender and receiver. Visual signals also only last as long as they are being sent, whereas chemical signals last until the chemicals dissipate or break down.

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