All the Noise Do Giraffes Make

February 15, 2024

If you want a pet that will keep your family, pets and neighbours happy then you should look no further than a giraffe. These creatures are funny, entertaining and incredibly beautiful. But they also make strange sounds, some of which we can hear and others we can’t. Here we explore all the noise a giraffe makes from the casual snort and groan to the strange, low-frequency hum that scientists have recently found they can make.

Despite their height, giraffes aren’t known to talk much in the wild. This is probably because giraffes communicate primarily through visual signals during the day, thanks to their excellent vision. These include stamping their feet, tossing their head and waving their mane. Young calves are also known to snort, bleat and moo.

But despite being able to see, giraffes have trouble communicating during the night. In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers discovered that giraffes hum in the dark, making it one of the first times this animal has been shown to make a sound without using its eyes. The giraffes hummed at night when they were separated into individual stalls, but it isn’t clear whether they were trying to communicate with other herd members.

Researchers have long thought that the giraffe’s iconic neck made vocalization physically impossible, due to the difficulty of getting enough airflow over the larynx and into its vocal cords. But this latest research shows that giraffes can at least snort and grunt, even though it doesn’t happen often. Infrasound, which is below the range of human hearing, was another thing they were able to produce. This is thought to be a way of communicating with other herd members when they are out of visual range.


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