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Class 3, September 9:


What is a signal? Physical properties of sound.


Learning outcomes:


  • You will be able to explain what signals are and how they differ from other stimuli (e.g. cues).


  • You will be able to describe the basic properties of sound waves and determine the challenges animals face when making sound in different environments.


Read chapter one and part of chapter two (pages19-33, scans below) and watch the video below. After, use Piazza ( to answer the following thought questions (due Tuesday Sept 8 before midnight). We will discuss your answers to these questions in class:


1. Before you start reading, write down your definition of a signal. After you read chapter 1, describe the important differences between your first definition and the scientific definition used in the book chapter. 


2. Based on what you've learned from the beginning of chapter 2 and the video, list the challanges that an animal would face when using an acoustic signal in 1) a humid vs. a dry environment 2) a densely forested vs. an open environment?



Assignments (files below):



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