In this work, we study emergent communication through the lens of cooperative multi-agent behavior in nature. Using insights from animal communication, we propose a spectrum from low-bandwidth (e.g. pheromone trails) to high-bandwidth (e.g. compositional language) communication that is based on the cognitive, perceptual, and behavioral capabilities of social agents. Through a series of experiments with pursuit-evasion games, we identify multi-agent reinforcement learning algorithms as a computational model for the low-bandwidth end of the communication spectrum.