• Signal: A stimulus transmitted from one organism
  • Communication: the transmission and reception of signals between animals of same species
    • Common modes of animal communication: visual, chemical, tactile, auditory,
    • Uses: indicate dominance, find food, establish territory, ensure reproductive success, species recognition, mating behavior, and social behavior. Occurs by…
  1. Chemical: release pheromones (chemicals for communication) that elicit response when smelled or eaten
  • Releaser pheromones: chemicals that trigger immediate and specific behavior changes
  • Primer pheromones: cause developmental changes
    • Ex: queen bee pheromones stop workers from being able to reproduce, ants use to guide other ants, male animals exhibit territoriality when spray urine
  1. Visual: often during acts of aggression (agonistic behavior) or courtship
  • Ex: stickleback fishes where red bellies, head-up posture, zigzag motions, and swimming to nest are visual cues
  • Some male birds assemble into groups called leks in which make courtship to female who chooses
  1. Auditory: sounds often used to communicate over long distances, thru water, and at night
  • Use to ward off male rivals, attract female, species recognition, warn of territorial boundaries, infrasound for greeting, singing songs that announce reproduction
  1. Tactile: use of touch for social bonding, infant care, and mating
  • Ex: bees perform dances that provide info about location of food
    • Bees make body contact (tactile) during dance

Mating Behavior and Mate Choice

  • In some animal species, mating is promiscuous, with no strong pair-bonds
  • In others, mates form a relationship that is monogamous (one male mating with one female) or polygamous (an individual of one sex mating with several of the other)
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Physical differences between male and females; resuls from sexual selection & mating systems
    • In monogamous species, males and females often look very similar while in polygamous species the mate that attracts multiple partners is usually showier
  • Often master-regulatory genes control courtship because products regulate other genes controlling sexual reproduction
  • In some species, neurotransmitters or hormones are needed for partnering and parental behavior
    • Ex: antidiuretic hormone (ADH) or vasopressin: a peptide that binds to specific receptors on nervous system

                        Change in level of receptor can alter development