Scientists from many distinct disciplines often use concepts such as habitat, environment, and niche to describe among other things the physical characteristics of the communicative worlds of animals. Often these descriptions center on the physical characteristics most salient to humans' perceptual systems. In this article, the authors advocate an approach to the description and analysis of the physical characteristics of animal communicative worlds based on J. von Uexküll's (1934/1957) concept of the Umwelt. Such an approach emphasizes the physical characteristics of the world as perceived by the organism in question, and its use has often led to novel and unexpected insights into animal communicative systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Psychology (miscellaneous)