animal communication


Summary: Communication between animals involving the giving off by one individual of some chemical or physical signal, that, on being received by another, influences its behavior.

Top Publications

  1. Inagaki H, Kuwahara M, Tsubone H, Mori Y. The effect of post-weaning individual housing on 50-kHz calls emitted from male rats to sexually receptive female rats. Physiol Behav. 2013;110-111:30-3 pubmed publisher
    ..These effects may be associated with developmental dysfunction induced by prolonged post-weaning individual housing. ..
  2. Maruska K, Ung U, Fernald R. The African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni uses acoustic communication for reproduction: sound production, hearing, and behavioral significance. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e37612 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results highlight the importance of examining non-visual sensory modalities as potential substrates for sexual selection contributing to the incredible phenotypic diversity of African cichlid fishes...
  3. Tootoonian S, Coen P, Kawai R, Murthy M. Neural representations of courtship song in the Drosophila brain. J Neurosci. 2012;32:787-98 pubmed publisher
    ..Our recordings inform how downstream circuits may read out behaviorally relevant information from central neurons in the AMMC...
  4. Seeley T, Visscher P, Schlegel T, Hogan P, Franks N, Marshall J. Stop signals provide cross inhibition in collective decision-making by honeybee swarms. Science. 2012;335:108-11 pubmed publisher
    ..An analytic model shows that cross inhibition between populations of scout bees increases the reliability of swarm decision-making by solving the problem of deadlock over equal sites. ..
  5. Pobbe R, Pearson B, Defensor E, Bolivar V, Young W, Lee H, et al. Oxytocin receptor knockout mice display deficits in the expression of autism-related behaviors. Horm Behav. 2012;61:436-44 pubmed publisher
    ..This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin, Vasopressin, and Social Behavior. ..
  6. Proaño C, Cruz S, McMillan D, Edgerly J. Exploration of substrate vibrations as communication signals in a webspinner from Ecuador (Embioptera: Clothodidae). Neotrop Entomol. 2012;41:196-203 pubmed publisher
    ..This is the first report to characterize spectral qualities and contexts of substrate vibrations in an embiopteran. ..
  7. Wheeler B, Fischer J. Functionally referential signals: a promising paradigm whose time has passed. Evol Anthropol. 2012;21:195-205 pubmed publisher
    ..our closest living relatives has, for the last several decades, been a major goal of many in the field of animal communication generally and primate communication specifically...
  8. Bush S, Beckers O, Schul J. A complex mechanism of call recognition in the katydid Neoconocephalus affinis (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). J Exp Biol. 2009;212:648-55 pubmed publisher
    ..The results are discussed with regard to evolutionary changes in call recognition mechanisms within the genus...
  9. Bro Jørgensen J. Dynamics of multiple signalling systems: animal communication in a world in flux. Trends Ecol Evol. 2010;25:292-300 pubmed publisher
    The ubiquity of multiple signalling is a long-standing puzzle in the study of animal communication: given the costs of producing and receiving signals, why use more than a single cue? Focusing on sexually selected signals, I argue that ..

More Information


  1. Jacot A, Romero Diaz C, Tschirren B, Richner H, Fitze P. Dissecting carotenoid from structural components of carotenoid-based coloration: a field experiment with great tits (Parus major). Am Nat. 2010;176:55-62 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings demonstrate that environment-induced variation in background structure contributes significantly to intraspecific variation in yellow carotenoid-based plumage coloration...
  2. Menzel R, Kirbach A, Haass W, Fischer B, Fuchs J, Koblofsky M, et al. A common frame of reference for learned and communicated vectors in honeybee navigation. Curr Biol. 2011;21:645-50 pubmed publisher
    ..The models differ with respect to the role of landmarks and the time of learning of spatial relations. ..
  3. Schmidt A, Riede K, Römer H. High background noise shapes selective auditory filters in a tropical cricket. J Exp Biol. 2011;214:1754-62 pubmed publisher
    ..We discuss the consequences of these adaptations for intraspecific acoustic communication and reproductive isolation between species...
  4. Penteriani V, Delgado M. The dusk chorus from an owl perspective: eagle owls vocalize when their white throat badge contrasts most. PLoS ONE. 2009;4:e4960 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, to date, the majority of studies on this topic have focused on songbirds...
  5. Hattori Y, Kuroshima H, Fujita K. Tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) show understanding of human attentional states when requesting food held by a human. Anim Cogn. 2010;13:87-92 pubmed publisher
    ..In conclusion, capuchin monkeys can understand variations in others' attentional states, although this ability appears limited compared to what is seen in humans...
  6. Drayton J, Milner R, Hall M, Jennions M. Inbreeding and courtship calling in the cricket Teleogryllus commodus. J Evol Biol. 2011;24:47-58 pubmed publisher
    ..It might, however, signal components of male fitness that are not affected by changes in heterozygosity...
  7. Tibbetts E, Izzo A. Social punishment of dishonest signalers caused by mismatch between signal and behavior. Curr Biol. 2010;20:1637-40 pubmed publisher
    ..A mismatch produces costly social interactions. This simple behavioral mechanism provides a clear cost to signal inaccuracy that may maintain honest communication over evolutionary time. ..
  8. Milner R, Jennions M, Backwell P. Eavesdropping in crabs: an agency for lady detection. Biol Lett. 2010;6:755-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, males appear to adjust their waving according to the information available: eavesdropping males wave 12 times faster than non-courting males but only 1.7 times slower than males in full visual contact with the female...
  9. Crampton W, Davis J, Lovejoy N, Pensky M. Multivariate classification of animal communication signals: a simulation-based comparison of alternative signal processing procedures using electric fishes. J Physiol Paris. 2008;102:304-21 pubmed publisher
    ..Applications of these signal processing procedures to animal communication have been largely restricted to the manual or semi-automated identification of landmark features from ..
  10. Soltis J, Leighty K, Wesolek C, Savage A. The expression of affect in African elephant (Loxodonta africana) rumble vocalizations. J Comp Psychol. 2009;123:222-5 pubmed publisher
    ..This response is not generally consistent with the expression of affect, but may signal large body size to competitors. These results suggest that affect can be expressed in the voiced sounds of elephants...
  11. Boulet M, Crawford J, Charpentier M, Drea C. Honest olfactory ornamentation in a female-dominant primate. J Evol Biol. 2010;23:1558-63 pubmed publisher
    ..As odour-gene relationships predictive of health and survivorship emerged during a period critical to mate choice and female competition, we posit that genital scent marks function as honest olfactory ornaments in females...
  12. Barbero F, Thomas J, Bonelli S, Balletto E, Schonrogge K. Queen ants make distinctive sounds that are mimicked by a butterfly social parasite. Science. 2009;323:782-5 pubmed publisher
    ..We conclude that acoustical mimicry provides another route for infiltration for approximately 10,000 species of social parasites that cheat ant societies. ..
  13. Xu Z, Cao G, Dong S. Changes of sex pheromone communication systems associated with tebufenozide and abamectin resistance in diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.). J Chem Ecol. 2010;36:526-34 pubmed publisher
    ..The implications of this non-random mating for insect speciation and insecticide resistance management are discussed. ..
  14. Hobaiter C, Byrne R. Serial gesturing by wild chimpanzees: its nature and function for communication. Anim Cogn. 2011;14:827-38 pubmed publisher
    ..This 'Repertoire Tuning' hypothesis explains a number of results previously reported from chimpanzee gesturing. ..
  15. Riabinina O, Dai M, Duke T, Albert J. Active process mediates species-specific tuning of Drosophila ears. Curr Biol. 2011;21:658-64 pubmed publisher
    The courtship behavior of Drosophilid flies has served as a long-standing model for studying the bases of animal communication. During courtship, male flies flap their wings to send a complex pattern of airborne vibrations to the antennal ..
  16. Scott J, Matheson S, Yack J. Variation on a theme: vibrational signaling in caterpillars of the rose hook-tip moth, Oreto rosea. J Insect Sci. 2010;10:54 pubmed publisher
    ..The results support the hypothesis that vibrational signals function to advertise leaf occupancy. Signaling is compared between species, and evolutionary origins of vibrational communication in caterpillars are discussed. ..
  17. Hartbauer M. Collective defense of Aphis nerii and Uroleucon hypochoeridis (Homoptera, Aphididae) against natural enemies. PLoS ONE. 2010;5:e10417 pubmed publisher
    ..This cooperative defense behavior provides an example of a surprising sociality that can be found in some aphid species that are not expected to be social at all. ..
  18. Couzin I. Collective cognition in animal groups. Trends Cogn Sci. 2009;13:36-43 pubmed publisher
    ..It is proposed that important commonalities exist with the understanding of neuronal processes and that much could be learned by considering collective animal behavior in the framework of cognitive science. ..
  19. Genty E, Breuer T, Hobaiter C, Byrne R. Gestural communication of the gorilla (Gorilla gorilla): repertoire, intentionality and possible origins. Anim Cogn. 2009;12:527-46 pubmed publisher
    ..Gorilla gestures are not, however, inflexible signals but are employed for intentional communication to specific individuals...
  20. Siitari H, Alatalo R, Halme P, Buchanan K, Kilpimaa J. Color signals in the black grouse (Tetrao tetrix): signal properties and their condition dependency. Am Nat. 2007;169 Suppl 1:S81-92 pubmed publisher
  21. Parmentier E, Colleye O, Mann D. Hearing ability in three clownfish species. J Exp Biol. 2009;212:2023-6 pubmed publisher
    ..However, they were found to be close to the dominant frequency of larger fish calls. The interest of juveniles lies in localising the adults and thus their location on the reef. ..
  22. Proops L, McComb K. Attributing attention: the use of human-given cues by domestic horses (Equus caballus). Anim Cogn. 2010;13:197-205 pubmed publisher
    ..This result suggests that domestic horses are highly sensitive to human attentional cues, including gaze. The possible role of evolutionary and environmental factors in the development of this ability is discussed. ..
  23. Jarriault D, Gadenne C, Rospars J, Anton S. Quantitative analysis of sex-pheromone coding in the antennal lobe of the moth Agrotis ipsilon: a tool to study network plasticity. J Exp Biol. 2009;212:1191-201 pubmed publisher
    ..The data presented will serve as a basis for comparison with those of immature and mated males. ..
  24. Gaunet F, Deputte B. Functionally referential and intentional communication in the domestic dog: effects of spatial and social contexts. Anim Cogn. 2011;14:849-60 pubmed publisher
    ..Finally, our results suggest that the dogs gazed at their owner at optimal locations in the experimental area, with respect to the target height and their owner's (or their own) line of gaze. ..
  25. Eriksson A, Anfora G, Lucchi A, Virant Doberlet M, Mazzoni V. Inter-plant vibrational communication in a leafhopper insect. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e19692 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results demonstrate for the first time that substrate discontinuity does not impose a limitation on communication range of vibrational signals. We also suggest that the behavioral response may depend on the signal intensity. ..
  26. de Groot M, Cokl A, Virant Doberlet M. Effects of heterospecific and conspecific vibrational signal overlap and signal-to-noise ratio on male responsiveness in Nezara viridula (L.). J Exp Biol. 2010;213:3213-22 pubmed publisher
    ..The results are discussed with regard to male behavioural strategies for vibrational communication in a noisy environment...
  27. Ord T, Stamps J, Losos J. Adaptation and plasticity of animal communication in fluctuating environments. Evolution. 2010;64:3134-48 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition to showing how plasticity contributes to interspecific differences in communication signals, our findings suggest the vagaries of evolution can in itself lead to signal variation between species. ..
  28. Ouattara K, Lemasson A, Zuberbuhler K. Campbell's monkeys concatenate vocalizations into context-specific call sequences. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:22026-31 pubmed publisher
    ..As the different sequences were so tightly linked to specific external events, the Campbell's monkey call system may be the most complex example of 'proto-syntax' in animal communication known to date.
  29. Grace J, Shaw K. Coevolution of male mating signal and female preference during early lineage divergence of the Hawaiian cricket, Laupala cerasina. Evolution. 2011;65:2184-96 pubmed publisher
    ..This correlated divergence between signal and preference suggests that sexual selection facilitates the establishment of sexual isolation, reduced gene flow, and population differentiation, prerequisites for speciation...
  30. Gadagkar R. Interrogating an insect society. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:10407-14 pubmed publisher
  31. Canonge S, Sempo G, Jeanson R, Detrain C, Deneubourg J. Self-amplification as a source of interindividual variability: shelter selection in cockroaches. J Insect Physiol. 2009;55:976-82 pubmed publisher
    ..A numerical model derived from experimental data suggested that this simple rule of self-amplification can also account for the interindividual variability. ..
  32. Riede T, Fisher J, Goller F. Sexual dimorphism of the zebra finch syrinx indicates adaptation for high fundamental frequencies in males. PLoS ONE. 2010;5:e11368 pubmed publisher
    ..This sexual dimorphism in frequency control illustrates a significant evolutionary step towards increased vocal complexity in birds. ..
  33. Genty E, Byrne R. Why do gorillas make sequences of gestures?. Anim Cogn. 2010;13:287-301 pubmed publisher
    ..Gesture sequences allow continual adjustment of the tempo and nature of social interactions, rather than generally conveying semantically referential information or syntactic structures. ..
  34. Hill P. How do animals use substrate-borne vibrations as an information source?. Naturwissenschaften. 2009;96:1355-71 pubmed publisher
    b>Animal communication is a dynamic field that promotes cross-disciplinary study of the complex mechanisms of sending and receiving signals, the neurobiology of signal detection and processing, and the behaviors of animals creating and ..
  35. Rundus A, Sullivan Beckers L, Wilgers D, Hebets E. Females are choosier in the dark: environment-dependent reliance on courtship components and its impact on fitness. Evolution. 2011;65:268-82 pubmed publisher
    ..Together, this comprehensive set of experiments demonstrates that female choosiness varies across environments, leading to direct fitness consequences. ..
  36. Topál J, Gergely G, Erdohegyi A, Csibra G, Miklosi A. Differential sensitivity to human communication in dogs, wolves, and human infants. Science. 2009;325:1269-72 pubmed publisher
    ..We propose that shared sensitivity to human communicative signals stems from convergent social evolution of the Homo and the Canis genera. ..
  37. Meguerditchian A, Vauclair J, Hopkins W. Captive chimpanzees use their right hand to communicate with each other: implications for the origin of the cerebral substrate for language. Cortex. 2010;46:40-8 pubmed publisher
  38. Wöhr M, Roullet F, Crawley J. Reduced scent marking and ultrasonic vocalizations in the BTBR T+tf/J mouse model of autism. Genes Brain Behav. 2011;10:35-43 pubmed publisher
  39. Yamamoto S, Tanaka M. Do chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) spontaneously take turns in a reciprocal cooperation task?. J Comp Psychol. 2009;123:242-9 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings suggest that there is some difficulty in the occurrence of reciprocal cooperation in chimpanzees. Chimpanzees, differently from humans, might play a donor's role only on the partner's request, but not spontaneously. ..
  40. Ord T, Stamps J. Species identity cues in animal communication. Am Nat. 2009;174:585-93 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings suggest that predicting how animals will respond to conspecific versus heterospecific signals is more complicated than has generally been anticipated. ..
  41. Meguerditchian A, Vauclair J. Contrast of hand preferences between communicative gestures and non-communicative actions in baboons: implications for the origins of hemispheric specialization for language. Brain Lang. 2009;108:167-74 pubmed publisher
    ..The hypothetical implications of these collective results are discussed within the theoretical framework about the origins of hemispheric specialization for human language. ..
  42. Dall S, Wright J. Rich pickings near large communal roosts favor 'gang' foraging by juvenile common ravens, Corvus corax. PLoS ONE. 2009;4:e4530 pubmed publisher
    ..This work serves to highlight a number of fruitful avenues for future research, both from a theoretical and empirical perspective...
  43. Maciej P, Fischer J, Hammerschmidt K. Transmission characteristics of primate vocalizations: implications for acoustic analyses. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e23015 pubmed publisher
    ..Because the recording conditions can have appreciable effects on acoustic parameters, it is advisable to validate the extraction method of acoustic variables from recordings over longer distances before using them in acoustic analyses. ..
  44. Caldwell M, Johnston G, McDaniel J, Warkentin K. Vibrational signaling in the agonistic interactions of red-eyed treefrogs. Curr Biol. 2010;20:1012-7 pubmed publisher
  45. Sueur C, Petit O. Signals use by leaders in Macaca tonkeana and Macaca mulatta: group-mate recruitment and behaviour monitoring. Anim Cogn. 2010;13:239-48 pubmed publisher
    ..From these results, we suggested that such behaviour could be considered intentional. Such findings could not be highlighted without temporal analyses and accurate observations on primate groups in semi-free ranging conditions. ..
  46. Bohn K, Schmidt French B, Schwartz C, Smotherman M, Pollak G. Versatility and stereotypy of free-tailed bat songs. PLoS ONE. 2009;4:e6746 pubmed publisher
    ..However, within global species-specific patterns, songs male free-tailed bats dynamically vary syllable number, phrase order, and phrase repetitions across song renditions. ..
  47. van Zweden J, Brask J, Christensen J, Boomsma J, Linksvayer T, d Ettorre P. Blending of heritable recognition cues among ant nestmates creates distinct colony gestalt odours but prevents within-colony nepotism. J Evol Biol. 2010;23:1498-508 pubmed publisher
  48. Tibbetts E, Mettler A, Levy S. Mutual assessment via visual status signals in Polistes dominulus wasps. Biol Lett. 2010;6:10-3 pubmed publisher
  49. McDermott J. The cocktail party problem. Curr Biol. 2009;19:R1024-7 pubmed publisher
  50. Ruxton G, Schaefer H. Resolving current disagreements and ambiguities in the terminology of animal communication. J Evol Biol. 2011;24:2574-85 pubmed publisher
    ..We demonstrate how our definitions allow resolution of conflicts arising in recent publications on the definitions on communication and related terms. ..
  51. Hobaiter C, Byrne R. The gestural repertoire of the wild chimpanzee. Anim Cogn. 2011;14:745-67 pubmed publisher
    ..g. silent gestures for attentive targets, contact gestures for inattentive ones). Such highly intentional use of a species-typical repertoire raises intriguing questions for the evolution of advanced communication. ..
  52. Römer H, Lang A, Hartbauer M. The signaller's dilemma: a cost-benefit analysis of public and private communication. PLoS ONE. 2010;5:e13325 pubmed publisher
  53. Towne W, Moscrip H. The connection between landscapes and the solar ephemeris in honeybees. J Exp Biol. 2008;211:3729-36 pubmed publisher
    ..Further evidence suggests that the skyline in particular may be the bees' preferred reference in this context. ..