Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Giraffes 'hum' to communicate at night

Share this article

Giraffes 'hum' to communicate at night
Photo: Franz Wunsch/Tiergarten Schönbrunn
08:46 CEST+02:00
Lions roar, wolves howl and elephants trumpet. But what do giraffes do to communicate? They "hum", new research from Vienna University suggests - and only at night.

Unlike other similar species, giraffes were not thought to be strong vocal
communicators, producing nothing more profound that an occasional snort or grunt, possibly because of their long necks.

But scientists led by Angela Stoeger at Vienna University made 947 hours of recordings at three European zoos and found instances of a kind of a humming sound with a "rich harmonic structure".

Almost all of the humming occurred at night, with even zookeepers saying they have never heard such noises before, the findings published in scientific journal BioMedCentral showed.

Further research is needed, but the findings suggested that the "hum" might help members of a giraffe herd stay in touch when they can no longer see each other.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

From our sponsors

Why Europe's top talent still flocks to London

London has always had a certain allure that pulls in entrepreneurs from near and far. As one of the world’s most connected cities, a top financial centre and a multicultural melting pot, countless professionals from Europe and beyond are drawn to London like moths to a flame.