There are many different types of animal communication, many of which we do not fully understand. Despite all the years of study, we always find new information about how animals transmit information to each other.

With this article we will try to shed a little light on how animals communicate. Keep reading!

How do animals communicate?

There are different types of animal communication include:

  • Visual.
  • Chemical (hormonal).
  • By touch.
  • Auditory.
  • Electrocommunication.

We discuss some of these types of animal communication in more detail below.

Visual communication between animals

Visual communication occurs in almost any animal species with the ability to see. However, it is often particularly associated with birds. Many, but not all species are sexually dimorphic. This means that male and female specimens have different physical appearances. Often the male has more striking plumage and / or coloration, using these facets to benefit them in the social mating system.

The theory is that plumage and movement show them as ideal candidates for mating, so they become their means of communication.

In a similar way, butterflies also communicate through their wings. Specifically, bright colors indicate to other animals that they are poisonous. The oriental fire-bellied frog also uses this technique. As their name suggests, they have a red belly that they show towards predators.

Chemical communication between animals

Chemical communication between animals is one of the most important and poorly understood communication methods in the animal kingdom. One of the most curious examples can be found within social insects (living in organized groups). For example, bees communicate with each other through pheromones. By using these chemical signals, they can alert other members of the hive to the presence of danger or where to extract nectar.

Tactile communication between animals

The sense of touch is an important communication method, especially for mammals. We can easily see it in chimpanzees. These animals groom each other to remove dirt and parasites. This behavior is not only for practical hygienic purposes. It also allows them to strengthen the relationship they have with each other.

Similar behavior can be observed in our domestic pets. Both dogs and cats lick each other.

Auditory animal communication

Although the sign language and sounds of animals are nowhere near that of humans, many animals will still use sounds and vocalizations to send signals. How complex an animal’s auditory communication is is hotly debated in various fields of study. If you ask a pet owner, some may claim that their companion animal understands more than it really can. Here are some examples of auditory animal communication:

Alarm calls

They are sounds that indicate the presence of a predator and warn the rest. As a result, they can better maintain the security of the group to which they belong.

Food notice

Animals living in groups will also use sound to alert other members of a new food source. Even if they are miles apart, animals can register sound and go to food. However, some animals will wait until they have had enough to eat before alerting the rest of the group.

Mating ritual

In addition to movement and plumage, birds can also vocalize songs during their mating ritual. The song of birds can be very elaborate and can vary significantly even within the same species. Individual birds will also personalize and adapt their songs over time.