BIOL 209
Animal Communication Fall 2024
Division III Writing Skills
Cross-listed NSCI 209

Class Details

Animal communication systems come in as many varieties as the species that use them. What they have in common are a sender that encodes information into a physical signal and a receiver that senses the signal, extracts the information, and adjusts its subsequent behavior accordingly. This tutorial will consider all aspects of communication, using different animal systems to explore different aspects of the biology of signaling. Topics will include the use of syntax to carry meaning in chickadee calls, synchronous signaling by fireflies, gestural communication by primates, long-distance chemical attractants that allow male moths to find the object of their desire, and cultural evolution within learned signaling systems.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1144
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on five 5-page papers, five short response papers, and the student's effectiveness in tutorial discussions.
Prerequisites: BIOL 101 and 102; open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors
Enrollment Preferences: Biology majors and Neuroscience concentrators who need a Biology elective to complete the concentration; then sophomores.
Distributions: Division III Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
NSCI 209 Division III BIOL 209 Division III
WS Notes: This course is a tutorial, and each student will write five position papers and five response papers. Extensive feedback will be provided; students will be required to rewrite one position paper, and may rewrite any of them.
Attributes: COGS Related Courses
NSCI Group A Electives

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