All animal species have some capacity for communication but communication abilities range from very simple to extremely complex, depending upon the species. Communication is influenced by a species' genetic makeup, its environment, and the numerous ways by which animals and humans respond to and adapt to their surroundings. You'll learn more about this topic by doing the activities on this E-Sheet.
Go to the Orangutan U Science Update. Listen to the audio file and then read the accompanying research. Think about the answers to the questions posed in the article. You will discuss these with your class.
Now go to and read All Animals Communicate. When you are finished, answer these questions:
- Are humans constantly communicating? How about other animals?
- Are there any special areas in human brains that make us distinct from other animals?
- Which animals have communication abilities that are close to humans?
- Do scientists believe that chimps have a language like humans?
- What are some examples of ways that humans can communicate that are different from other animals?
Read these articles:
When you are finished, answer these questions:
- Is the ability to communicate the exclusive possession of human beings?
- List some of the ways that animals express themselves
- Who do you think will have greater communication abilities: a dog that lives in a regular home or a dog that lives in a circus. Why?
Write a brief essay explaining this statement:
Although all species have some capacity for communication, there is a range of abilities among species.
Be sure to provide examples from the resources you have explored in this lesson.
If you'd like, you can visit these websites to learn more about animal communication.
This esheet is a part of the Animal Communication lesson.