communication

The song of birds can be soothing and inspiring, but birds sing for more than just the beauty of it. Birds use song, call notes and behavior to communicate with each other. Birds use sound and action to scare off predators or warn other birds about danger, to attract a mate or to defend one’s...

What does this face say to you? Quite a lot, if you’re a Cerataphora lizard. New research on this little-known and much endangered genus of agamid lizard, which is found only in the tropical lowland and mountain cloud forests of Sri Lanka, is poised to shed a great deal of light on these creatures’ unusual horns. Some...

Although we can’t always perceive them, vibrations provide a critical way of communicating for many animal species. Scientists think vibrational communication is an ancient sensory mode—one that is still widely used throughout the animal kingdom. Animals from tiny insects to jumbo-size elephants talk to each other using vibrations for many different purposes, from mating and...

Marmosets share a unique characteristic with humans: In conversations, these social monkeys wait their turn to speak. During exchanges, which can last up to 30 minutes, marmosets engage in vocal turn-taking and they don’t interrupt each other, researchers from Princeton University report in Current Biology. “We were surprised by how reliably the marmoset monkeys exchanged...

By Ker Than- A species of tiny bat seems to be using rolled-up leaves like trumpets to amplify calls, a new study says. A few years ago, biologists Gloriana Chaverri and Erin Gillam were in Costa Rica studying Spix’s disk-winged bat, a species that is known to escape predators and harsh weather by roosting inside the folded leaves of...

By Ker Than- A species of tiny bat seems to be using rolled-up leaves like trumpets to amplify calls, a new study says. A few years ago, biologists Gloriana Chaverri and Erin Gillam were in Costa Rica studying Spix’s disk-winged bat, a species that is known to escape predators and harsh weather by roosting inside the folded leaves of...

Many scientists have a bad tendency: they often speak in a way that is incomprehensible to the general public. I know what I am talking about because I am one of them. In our defense, traditional scientific training doesn’t typically prepare us to be effective communicators outside academic circles. Scientific peer-reviewed papers are frequently written...

By Jennifer S. Holland Here’s a little secret: Humans aren’t the only animals who know how to speak softly. Gophers sometimes whisper. There are bats that do it to avoid detection by moth prey. A certain fish does it to initiate sex (whispering sweet nothings into her mate’s ear canal?). (See “‘Whispering’ Bat Evolved to Trick Prey.”)...

By Jennifer S. Holland Here’s a little secret: Humans aren’t the only animals who know how to speak softly. Gophers sometimes whisper. There are bats that do it to avoid detection by moth prey. A certain fish does it to initiate sex (whispering sweet nothings into her mate’s ear canal?). (See “‘Whispering’ Bat Evolved to Trick Prey.”)...