Animals and Language.pdf - Do animals have language A dog cannot relate his autobiography however eloquently he may bark he cannot tell you that his

Animals and Language.pdf - Do animals have language A dog...

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Do animals have language? A dog cannot relate his autobiography; however eloquently he may bark, he cannot tell you that his parents were honest though poor. --BERTRAND RUSSELL Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits , 1948 1
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Descartes It is a very remarkable fact that there are none [among people] so depraved and stupid, without even excepting idiots, that they cannot arrange different words together, forming of them a statement by which they make known their thoughts; while, on the other hand, there is no other animal, however perfect and circumstanced it may be, which can do the same. 2
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Design features of Animal Communication Mode of communication vocalization (also infrasound, elephants and ultrasound, bats) Kangaroos and hares – thump hind legs Death-watch-beetle – bangs head against the wood Visual cues – baring teeth, body posture, fireflies Chemical cues – odour, pheromones; electricity etc. But there are more complex systems in the wild too 3
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Bees Italian honey bee, Apis mellifera ligustica A returning forager bee dances to communicate information about a food source Round dance , food locations close to the hive, less than 20 feet Sickle dance , food at an intermediate distance 20-60 feet Tail-wagging dance , extended distance Additionally, the number of repetitions and excitement indicate the quality of the source 4
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Aristotle, Flower Constancy "On each trip the bee does not fly from a flower of one kind to a flower of another, but flies from one violet, say, to another violet, and never meddles with another flower until it has got back to the hive; on reaching the hive they throw off their load, and each bee on her return is followed by three or four companions. What it is that they gather is hard to see, and how they do it has not been observed…" 5
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Round dance Bee’s motion depicts a circle, performed on the wall of the hive, crowded room Type of flower signaled by the bee’s abdomen (Karl von Frisch, Ethologist, The Dancing Bees , 1927; Nobel Prize 1973 ) 6
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7 The foraging bee... begins to perform a kind of "round dance". On the part of the comb where she is sitting she starts whirling around in a narrow circle, constantly changing her direction, turning now right, now left, dancing clockwise and anti-clockwise, in quick succession, describing between one and two circles in each direction. This dance is performed among the thickest bustle of the hive.
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8 What makes it so particularly striking and attractive
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