Explain why sound is a useful and versatile form of communication

Sound is a vital component for communication in animals and humans, without sound it will be very difficult to communicate , even animals vary the nature of sounds. e.g. the pitch, loudness and tone to differentiate information between them. It allows humans and animals to communicate without visual or direct contact.

Toothed whales ( such as killer whales, sperm whales, pilot whales, white whales, bottle-nosed dolphins) use a form of sound communication called echolocation, whereby the animal emits sounds and listens for the echo to come back to them ( the sound waves hit an object and bounce back). This is used in the dark ocean where vision is not an option. By this process echolcation, whales are able to judge distance, direction, size, shape and speed of objects in water. Other animals such as bats also use echolocation.

echolocation in whales

Whale communication and culture http://www.eoearth.org/article/Whale_communication_and_culture#Echolocation Accessed: 5/6/09
the Humpback Whale By Ashlee and Fiona http://teachit.acreekps.vic.edu.au/animals/humpbackwhale.htm Accessed: 5/6/09

Biology in context: The spectrum of life. Authors: Peter Aubusson, Eileen Kennedy and Peter Hickman. First published in 2000 by Oxford University Press in Melbourne

The Usborne illustrated dictionary of biology. Authors : unknown.