Science Says Giraffes Hum To Each Other At Night

Posted: Sep 22 2015, 1:19am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Science Says Giraffes hum to each other at Night
Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Giraffes are not silent animals as they are usually thought. They produce a certain kind of a sound and only at night.

Giraffes are mostly assumed silent animals. It is generally thought that this tallest animal of the zoo doesn’t have a distinct sound like other animals use such as barking, meowing, whinnying or roaring.

However, a new research suggests that giraffes do have a certain sound besides occasional snorting or grunting and these sounds are only produced at night. For the research, more than 9000 hours of sounds from captive giraffes have been recorded and it was found that this animal does a lot of humming and makes the low frequency sound only at night.

“Although giraffes do have a well-developed larynx and laryngeal nerves, it was long suggested that due to the long neck, giraffes might have problems to produce an air-flow of sufficient velocity to induce self-sustained vocal fold vibrations. Notwithstanding, giraffes are, in principle, capable of producing sounds.” Study reads.

The humming sound produced by giraffes is very low but certainly audible to humans. The sounds were collected from three Europe zoos over the efforts of several months. They were deep and rich in harmonic structure and ranged from 92 Hz to as low as 35 Hz. But scientists are still not sure what these sounds are used for. They cannot provide any evidence that giraffes use vocalizations for communication because they do not have any information about behavioral context. The study was only focused on detecting tonal or sustained voices from giraffes.

“These results show that giraffes do produce vocalizations, which based on their acoustic structure, might have the potential of function as communicative signals to convey information about the physical and motivational attributes of the caller. The data further reveal that the assumption of infrasonic communication in giraffes needs to be considered with caution and requires further investigations in future studies.”

The research was published in BMC Research Notes.

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