Giraffes 'hum' to communicate at night

The Local/AFP
The Local/AFP - [email protected] • 24 Sep, 2015 Updated Thu 24 Sep 2015 08:46 CEST
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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.

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The Local/AFP 2015/09/24 08:46

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