Make Yourself a Career working with Animals
- High level, practical and professional training
- Choose your own areas to specialize in
Note that each module in the Associate Diploma in Animal Husbandry is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
Note that each module in the Qualification - Associate Diploma in Animal Husbandry is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
Do You Understand How Animals Communicate?
Communication among animals differs to that of humans because they cannot “speak”. Instead, animals will transmit their information by elaborating specific sounds, body postures, facial expressions, ritual displays, auditory outbursts, bioluminescence, scent marking, chemoreception and/or tactile cues.
- Although we might be talking about the same animal, some of their “dialects” differ from each other depending on the region.
- Some animals have evolved new abilities to communicate (whether it’s an acquired physical appearance or sound variations). This is mainly due to environmental changes, such as pollution, which have been found to interfere with their natural means of expression.
Examples of different ways animals communicate are indicated below:
Visual communication is effective in the animal kingdom. Humans convey signals through facial expressions and body language. Visual information may be expressed may be expressed through:
- Physical appearance – for example: yellow and black markings to signify a warning, or trying to appear larger to dissuade a challenger.
- Behavioural display – For example: courtship dance, defence of territory.
- Peacocks use elaborate tail displays for attracting the female – courtship rituals.
- Cobras inflate their hood as a defence mechanism when threatened.
- Deer flick up their tails to show alarm.
- Gorillas stick their tongues out as an indication of anger.
- Whales breach as a warning of danger, to show dominance or as a courtship behaviour.
- Dogs wag their tail as an indicative of pleasure; pull their ears back when fearful.
- Roosters expand their wings and move forward in a threatening way.
- Cats arch their back and lift the hair on their backs to prepare for an attack if threatened.
- Goannas stand up tall with their mouth open to frighten off an aggressor.
- Cobras puff up their hood when threatened.
Sound is a highly effective means of communication since it can pass through vegetation and around objects. It can also be sent over wide areas or territories. Unlike scents, sounds quickly disappear after the signal has been transmitted. It is thought that the majority of animal communication is transmitted using sounds, however habitat also places a role in usage. For instance, sounds which are made close to ground level are more readily absorbed whereas those made from trees or hillsides travel further.
- Elephants use their trunks for long distance sound calls.
- Whales use song-like sounds to communicate underwater.
- Wolves howl sounds to call to other wolves from the same pack.
- Dogs snarl to express anger and howl to regroup the pack.
- Kangaroos thump their back legs as a warning for danger.
Many animals and insects use touch as a means of communication. Sometimes the message is transmitted through vibrations such as a male spider vibrating the web of a female to lure her into mating.
- Dogs lick to bond, to clean or to stimulate a specific reaction.
- Baboons touch as a form of affection, greeting and for grooming.
- Elephants entwine their trunks to show affection.
- Horses kicking to prove dominance; rub noses as a form of affection.
- Giraffes press their necks together as a way to confirm mutual attraction (and when fighting).
- Swans entwine their necks to fight or to confirm mutual bonding with the opposite sex.
- Kangaroos stand up tall with hands ready to grasp and attack a predator.
Smells are often used to define territory borders or to indicate that an animal has passed through a territory e.g. a dog urinating outside its usual territory. Pheromones are a special type of chemical detected by olfactory receptors. They may be divided into two types:
- Primary pheromones - these cause long term responses in the animal that detects them.
- Releaser pheromones - these cause an immediate response in the animal that detects them.
- Cats rub against objects or other animals as a way of scent marking.
- Skunks expel smell to dissuade predators.
- Wolves release pheromones to attract the opposite sex.
OTHER COURSES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU
You can study all of the modules listed above as stand alone courses. But other courses that may also interest you include -