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Sensory Ecology, Behaviour, and Evolution$
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Martin Stevens

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199601776

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199601776.001.0001

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Signalling and Communication

Signalling and Communication

(p.73) Chapter 5 Signalling and Communication
Sensory Ecology, Behaviour, and Evolution

Martin Stevens

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains key concepts relating to signals, cues, and communication in general. The discussions cover what signals and communication are, how signals differ from cues, and the idea that signals have strategic and efficacy elements; the importance of signalling and communication in many areas of animals’ lives, from finding mates to alerting individuals to danger; and how signals have evolved to elicit a response in the receiver, who can extract relevant information, and the essential concepts relating to signal form and evolution. The chapter argues that to fully understand the diversity of signals and communication systems in nature we need to carefully consider how signals have evolved in response to the sensory system of the receiver.

Keywords:   communication, signals, signal efficacy, signal strategy, information, cues

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