Aggressive communication in aquatic environments

Joachim G. Frommen Aggressive interactions are ubiquitous throughout the animal kingdom. Animals fight for example to obtain or defend resources like food, mating partners or high-quality territories. Such overt aggressive interactions are usually costly not only in terms of increased risk of injury or death, but also due to opportunity costs and energy expenditure. Accordingly, animals are expected to keep such fights as short as … Continue reading Aggressive communication in aquatic environments

Successful Predators Depend on Information from Prey and from Each Other: Lessons from Bats

Rachel A. Page and Ximena E. Bernal Engaged in an escalating arms race, predators and prey continuously evolve more sophisticated means of outwitting one another. Predators hone their senses to detect, locate and entrap their prey. Prey in turn endeavor to avoid detection, escaping their predators by producing as few cues as possible that can reveal their location. Successful players in this coevolutionary arms race … Continue reading Successful Predators Depend on Information from Prey and from Each Other: Lessons from Bats

Do animals have one, two or many cognitive machineries in their heads?

Susana A. M. Varela, Magda C. Teles & Rui F. Oliveira There are two fundamental ways in which animals interact with their environment: individually, learning which options are the safest from the outputs of their own experience (called asocial learning), or socially, learning the safest options through the experiences of others (social learning). For example, picture a domestic mouse that finds chocolate for the first … Continue reading Do animals have one, two or many cognitive machineries in their heads?

Group of nectarivorous bats communicating with social calls during their daytime rest in a cave.

Social complexity drives vocal complexity in bats

Mirjam Knörnschild, Ahana Fernandez and Martina Nagy Interacting with members of one’s social group can be challenging. When social interactions become more complex, vocalizations mediating these social interactions should become more complex as well. Such a positive feedback loop between social and vocal complexity has been found in several animals, such as primates, rodents, and birds. We studied whether social complexity is linked to vocal … Continue reading Social complexity drives vocal complexity in bats

Insect acoustic communication: the role of transmission channel and receiver “psychology”

Heiner Römer The songs produced by insects are used in behavioral contexts of mate attraction, rivalry between males or the spacing of individuals in a population. Because insects are small, the produced sound is often high pitched and, when interacting with vegetation in their natural habitat, suffers strong attenuation. In combination with wind or other weather conditions this means that the signal broadcast by a … Continue reading Insect acoustic communication: the role of transmission channel and receiver “psychology”