ancom_lec17 C - Oct 26, 2010 PSY 3364 Animal Communication...

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1 PSY 3364 Animal Communication Oct 26, 2010 Signals, cues and indices Signal : behavior or structure that alters the behavior of another animal, which evolved because of that effect, and is effective because the receiver’s response has also evolved. – If one stag pushes another stag, it is not a signal; but if one roars and the other retreats, it is a signal. Maynard-Smith and Harper, 2003 Signals, cues and indices Cue : behavior or structure or feature of the environment that can be used by an animal as a guide to future action. – A mosquito searching for a mammal to bite will fly upwind if it detects CO 2 . The CO 2 is a cue for the mosquito, but it is not a signal by the mammal. Maynard-Smith and Harper, 2003 Signals, cues and indices Index : a signal whose intensity is related to the quality it signals, and which cannot be faked. – Bright colored skin patches (wattles, combs) are displayed by birds during courtship, and these signals may serve as indices of parasite resistance indices of parasite resistance. – “Weapons” (e.g. horns in goats, sheep, deer) are displayed during aggressive interactions. Maynard-Smith and Harper, 2003 Signals, cues and indices Index : a signal whose intensity is related to the quality it signals, and which cannot be faked. – Bright colored skin patches (wattles, combs) are displayed by birds during courtship; these may serve as indices of parasite resistance parasite resistance. – “Weapons” (e.g. horns in goats, sheep, deer) are displayed during aggressive interactions. Maynard-Smith and Harper, 2003 Handicaps Handicap : A signal whose reliability is ensured because its production is costly; the signal may be difficult to produce or have costly consequences difficult to produce or have costly consequences. – Peacock tail feathers – Male stalk-eyed flies have longer eye stalks; females prefer males with large eye span Zahavi (1975)
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2 Information and deception • Not all signals involve sharing information for mutual benefit. Signals may be transmitted to manipulate others, including members of the same species and even members of the same family species and even members of the same family. – Male bluegill sunfish mature at 2-3 years of age, but have not yet acquired full size. Territorial males do not drive them off as rivals because they resemble females (“female mimicry”). Deception occurs when these young males fertilize the eggs Information and deception • During aggressive interactions animals sometimes make themselves appear larger than they really are. Siamese fighting fish extend their fins when swimming – Siamese fighting fish extend their fins when swimming alongside an opponent and raise their gill covers in face-to-face encounters. These actions make them look larger than they really are. Limits on deception
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This note was uploaded on 11/11/2010 for the course PSY PSY 3364 A taught by Professor Dr.peterassmann during the Spring '10 term at University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson.

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ancom_lec17 C - Oct 26, 2010 PSY 3364 Animal Communication...

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