Animals might not be able to speak or master advanced language techniques but they certainly have other ways of communicating. Whale song wolf howls frog croaks bird chips even the waggle dance of the honeybee or the vigorous waving of a dog’s tail are among the panoply of ways animals transmit information to each other and to other denizens of the animal kingdom.
Species often rely on verbal and nonverbal forms of communication, such as calls, non-vocal auditory outbursts like the slap of a dolphin’s tall on the water bioluminescence scent marking chemical or tactile cues visual signals and postural gestures.
Fireflies and peacocks are classic examples of brilliant bioluminescence and impressive visual displays, respectively. Ants use chemical cues to help guide their foraging adventures as well as for other activities like telling friend from foe connecting with new mates and marshalling the colony’s defenses.
When it comes to acoustic communication not every member of a species is just alike. Animals in different regions have often been overhead sounding off in different dialects. For example one study found that blue whales produce different patterns of pulses tones and pitches depending on where they’re from. Some bird species are the same way. And what about those birds that live on the border between territories of differing songsters? They often become bilingual so to speak and able to communicate in the singing parlance favored by each of their groups of neighbors.
Communication between species can play important roles as well. One study suggested that the reason Madagascan spiny-tailed iguanas have well –developed ears—despite the fact that they don’t communicate vocally is so they can hear the warning calls of the Madagascan paradise flycatcher. The two species have nothing in common except for the fact that they share a general habitat and raptors like to snack on them. So when an iguana hears a bird raise the alarm among other bires it likely knows to be on alert for incoming predators too.
However as noise pollution interferes with animal communiqués all across the globe many animals ability to communicate effectively comes under fire. Some species have had to modify their singing styles producing songs that are louder and shriller in order to be heard above the clamor.
Ants use pheromone trails to follow each other.