Animal Behavio2 - increasing distance Many animals produce...

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Animal Behavior: Signaling and Communication Representational Information Most displays reveal information about the signaler, whether it be fitness, disposition, or location. Representational information imparts information about the environment external to the sender. This is a more complicated form of communication, as it requires first assimilating information about the environment, and then divulging that information to others. The honeybee dance language is an example of representational information, imparting both the distance and the direction from the hive to food. A forager will return from a food source and, by performing a directed series of movements, can inform a second wave of foragers as to the location of the same food source. Acoustic Signals Acoustic signals are energetically costly, but can travel great distances, degrading with
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Unformatted text preview: increasing distance. Many animals produce sounds to impart information, however only humans have a well-developed language. There is some evidence that Vervet monkeys have a language consisting of three distinct words: snake, eagle, and leopard. As it turns out, these alarm calls actually represent the type of threat, rather than the specific type of predator. The snake call warns conspecifics of the presence of a slow predator on the ground. Vervets respond to this call by standing up and looking around. The eagle call indicates a fast-flying predator. Vervets will run for cover and look up. The leopard call alerts the monkeys to a fast-running predator, and they respond by running up a tree. We will learn more about acoustical signals, namely song, in the section on Bird Song ....
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