Who said giraffes can’t hum?
Giraffes were considered to be one of the most silent species of animals on Earth, their excessive height being their only disadvantage. Yet, scientists say giraffes like to ‘hum’ at night, based on the thousands of sound recordings they have made over the course of the experiment.
Whether they feel lonely or simply can’t fall asleep, giraffes like to hum to each other at night. This new discovery helps us see giraffes in a totally different light, making them a lot more romantic or sensitive than we ever thought them to be.
The study was conducted by Angela Stoger, a Professor at the University of Vienna in Austria over the period of eight years. During this time interval researchers have recorded approximately 940 hours of sounds emitted by giraffes.
The researcher initially thought giraffes make sounds that are imperceptible to humans. As a consequence, she recorded the sounds with infrasonic gear in search for evidence for her hypothesis. At the end of the experiment, Stoger did not find any relevant infrasonic sounds.
However, when she listened the recording at 92 hertz, she noticed that giraffes made a special hum, particularly during the night hours. By hearing the sounds multiple times, the expert has concluded that the humming sounds have different durations. The combination of notes also differed from one communication to another.
Scientists cannot say what type of communication this may be. They believe giraffes may hum to alert one another during night hours when vision is very low. Another possible explanation is that giraffes are unaware of their humming sounds because these are passively produced. Humans and dogs make similar sounds when they snore, for instance.
Additional studies will be conducted to determine the meaning of this humming communication and the factors causing it. In the meanwhile, scientists are rejoicing the findings of their new study which have shed more light on the social behavior of giraffes. They have long looked for answers for this questions as they did not understand how giraffes managed to stay in groups if they did not use any instance of communication.
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