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Nonhuman communication

See also: Biocommunication (science) and Interspecies communication

Communication in many of its facets is not limited to humans, or even to primates. Every information exchange between living organisms i.e. transmission of signals involving a living sender and receiver can be considered a form of communication. Thus, there is the broad field of animal communication, which encompasses most of the issues in ethology. Also very primitive animals such as corals are competent to communicate. On a more basic level, there is cell signaling, cellular communication, and chemical communication between primitive organisms like bacteria, and within the plant and fungal kingdoms. All of these communication processes are sign-mediated interactions with a great variety of distinct coordinations.

Animal communication is any behavior on the part of one animal that has an effect on the current or future behavior of another animal. Of course, human communication can be subsumed as a highly developed form of animal communication. The study of animal communication, called zoosemiotics' (distinguishable from anthroposemiotics, the study of human communication) has played an important part in the development of ethology, sociobiology, and the study of animal cognition. This is quite evident as humans are able to communicate with animals, especially dolphins and other animals used in circuses. However, these animals have to learn a special means of communication. Animal communication, and indeed the understanding of the animal world in general, is a rapidly growing field, and even in the 21st century so far, many prior understandings related to diverse fields such as personal symbolic name use, animal emotions, animal culture and learning, and even sexual conduct, long thought to be well understood, have been revolutionized.


Date: 2015-01-29; view: 951


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