Communication is part of our everyday life. We greet one another, smile or
frown, depending on our moods. Animals too, communicate, much to our
surprise. Just like us, interaction among animals can be both verbal or
Singing is one way in which animals can interact with one
another. Male blackbirds often use their melodious songs to catch the
attention of the females. These songs are usually rich in notes variation,
encoding various kinds of messages. Songs are also used to warn and keep off
other blackbirds from their territory, usually a place where they
dwell and reproduce.
Large mammals in the oceans sing too, according to adventurous sailors.
Enormous whales groan and grunt while smaller dolphins and porpoises produce
pings, whistles and clicks. These sounds are surprisingly received by other
mates as far as several hundred kilometers away.
Besides singing, body language also forms a large part of animals'
communication tactics. Dominant hyenas exhibit their power by raising the
fur hackles on their necks and shoulders, while the submissive ones normally
"surrender" to the powerful parties by crouching their heads low and curling
their lips a little, revealing their teeth in friendly smiles.
Colors, which are most conspicuously
found on animals are also important means of interaction among animals. Male
birds of paradise, which have the most gaudy
colored feathers often hang themselves upside down from branches, among
fluffing plumes, displaying proudly their feathers, attracting the opposite
The alternating black and white striped coats of zebras have their roles
to play too. Each zebra is born with a unique set of stripes which enables
its mates to recognize them. When grazing safely, their stripes are all
lined up neatly so that none of them loses track of their friends. However,
when danger such as a hungry lion approaches, the zebras would dart out in
various directions, making it difficult for the lion to choose his target.
Insects such as the wasps, armed with poisonous bites or stings, normally
have brightly painted bodies to remind other predators of their power.
Hoverflies and other harmless insects also make use of this fact and
colored their bodies brightly in attempts to fool their predators into
thinking that they are as dangerous and harmful as the wasps too.
Animals make use of various kinds of communicative methods.
Male blackbirds sing to attract female ones and also to keep other
blackbirds off their dwellings. Mammals in the oceans like whales, 'sing' to
interact with their mates far away too. Dominating hyenas raise their fur
hackles in attempts to exhibit power while submissive ones crouch their
heads and 'smile' to express respects. Birds of paradise attract female
partners by displaying their colorful feathers while the stripes of zebras
not only enable them to recognize each other, but also divert the predator's
attention in times of danger. Finally, dangerous wasps are brightly colored
to warn off others while some harmless ones try to fool their predators by
using the same principle.
( 119 words )