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Best practices in communication for the animal world

There are all sorts of signaling strategies in nature. Peacocks puff out their feathers and spread their colorful tails; satin bowbirds build specialized stick structures, called bowers, and decorate them with blue and shiny objects; and European bitterling males show off bright nuptial coloration during spawning season. Each species has evolved a unique method to communicate with others. “Signaling can have profound fitness implications for individuals that are either signaling or receiving the signal,” says Gavin M. Leighton, doctoral student in the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami and author of a new study on the effectiveness of signaling systems.
Image credit: J. Albert Uy, associate professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami