The sound of the giraffe

I have often wondered what sound a giraffe makes, and it seems that many other people have, too. Just try searching for “giraffe noise” or “giraffe sounds” or similar in Google, Yahoo or wherever and see how many results come up! I haven’t seen many giraffes in real life, but the ones I have seen didn’t make any kind of vocalised noise, or at least not one that I could hear.

Giraffe, sometime contributor to this blog, snores. I thought that he was the only snoring giraffe in existence, but apparently I was wrong! I found an article which talks about giraffes snoring as well as making other kinds of noises, including mooing, coughing and even “flute-like sounds or whistles”. Obviously they are more musical than I thought. Some of the links from this article no longer work, but this piece about giraffes from the Wellington Zoo website confirms that they do make various different noises.

One recent discovery about giraffe communication is particularly interesting. Elizabeth von Muggenthaler, and her colleagues at the Fauna Communications Research Institute studied 11 giraffes at zoos in North and South Carolina in the United States and found that they seemed to be using infrasound, sound below the levels of human hearing, to communicate. This would explain why lots of people think that giraffes are mute!

You can find out many other interesting and exciting facts about giraffes all over the internet, but I particularly like Matt’s World of Wicked Giraffes. It’s the only place I’ve found so far that mentions the fact that there is a giraffe in space! Excellent!


Author: Lilian

Librarian who likes music, cataloguing, theology, gardening, crochet, ampersands, taking photos, baking & tea. Has CHD & pacemaker.

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