4 Fun Ways Animals Communicate With Each Other

Written by Nina Phillips
Published: November 21, 2023
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Most, if not all, animals besides humans are unable to have full speech. They may not be able to talk in-depth about their emotions or the colors of the sunset that evening. However, animals do still have ways to communicate important information.

There are some of the more basic ways, such as howling, scent markers, and singing, but that’s not all. Some animals have come up with unique ways to get information across. To learn more about some of the more fun and unique ways some animals communicate, you want to read the rest of this article.

1. Dancing

bumblebee on a yellow flower collects pollen, selective focus

Bees dance and wiggle around to tell each other important information.

©nnorozoff/iStock via Getty Images

Probably the most fun way animals communicate is through dancing. When you hear dancing, you might think of birds, like the unique birds of paradise that dance around to attract mates.

While their dances certainly stand out, they aren’t the only animal that dances to communicate. Bees also wiggle their little rear ends to get some important information across.

Since bees only ever mate with the queen, it’s not a dance to catch the attention of the ladies. Instead, it’s used to discuss where food is. When a bee finds a good honey source, it flies back to the hive and starts to dance. This dancing lets the other bees know the location of the honey, without needing the initial bee as a guide.

Scientists still aren’t sure about the exact information that’s provided by the dance, but it appears that they provide very specific geolocation details in the dances.

If you’ve ever gotten an excited little wiggle thinking about good food, you now know you’re not alone.

2. Whistling

Wild Dog Breeds: Dhole

Dholes will whistle to one another while they are hunting to better work as a solid unit.

©Nimit Virdi/Shutterstock.com

These little wild dogs have a few different names. They are also known as Asiatic wild dogs or whistling dogs. Why are they known as whistling dogs? Because they whistle to communicate.

Dholes are intimidating predators. When they work together, they’re capable of taking down prey over 10 times their body weight. They’re quite successful at taking down prey as well.

This is because they communicate the entire time they hunt. The whistles they produce allow them to stay in touch during the entire hunt and coordinate. When they work together, with one dhole in charge, they take down wild sheep, reindeer, and even buffalo. For animals about the size of a German Shepherd, this is pretty impressive.

They don’t always take down large prey. Since they aren’t obligate carnivores, they can also eat berries and fruits nearby. Dholes work amazingly in a team but are also capable solitary hunters and will chase down rabbits and lizards for a meal.

There are many other unique characteristics of dholes, including their ability to carry meat to the rest of the pack by eating it and throwing it back up. Unfortunately, these animals are very endangered and might not be around much longer.

3. Light Displays

Colorful Fastest Puncher Peacock Mantis Shrimp Underwater Dwelling

Mantis shrimps are incredibly amazing animals, and the way they communicate is only one such example.

©Martin Voeller/Shutterstock.com

It’s fairly public knowledge for anyone interested in animals that mantis shrimp see far more colors than most other animals, including people. They have 16 different color channels. Meanwhile, humans can only see through three channels.

There’s a bit of a misconception about that, though. While mantis shrimp can technically see more colors than people, they aren’t able to mix them. This means that mantis shrimp really only see 16 colors or so. While people can technically only see three colors, they can blend the colors in their brains to see a mix of different shades and colors.

However, there is a reason that mantis shrimp have so many color receptors. To communicate with one another, they use a type of polarized light to send messages to each other. This is light that other animals can’t see, so it’s a great way for them to convey information without alerting other animals to their presence.

4. Glaring

close up of a jackdaw

It’s not your imagination, jackdaws glare at potential threats.


It’s a fact that many primates communicate information with their eyes. For a while, scientists thought only primates communicated via eyes and starting.

However, that’s not the case. A group of scientists in charge of studying jackdaws, specifically western jackdaws, found that birds could communicate a lot with their eyes as well.

Jackdaws use their eyes to keep away threats. How do they do this? By glaring them down, of course. Now that scientists know this, they are starting to understand why Jackdaws have unique eyes.

Jackdaws have bright white eyes against dark feathers and pupils. These eyes are visible from a distance, which might mean that they ended up adopting a bright eye color to make their glares better.

Summary of Fun Ways Animals Communicate

List NumberForm of CommunicationAnimals That Communicate This Way
1DancingBees and birds
2WhistlingDholes and birds
3Light DisplaysLightning bugs and mantis shrimp
4GlaringPrimates and jackdaws

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Svetlana Popova

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About the Author

Nina is a writer at A-Z Animals. Her focus is on wildlife, national parks, and the environment. She has been writing on animals for over three years. Nina holds a Bachelor's in Conservation Biology, which she uses when talking about animals and their natural habitats. In her free time, Nina also enjoys working on writing her novels and short stories. As a resident of Colorado, Nina enjoys getting out in nature, traveling, and watching snow hit the mountains from her enclosed porch.

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