10 Unusual Sounds Giraffes Make and What Each Means

What sounds does a giraffe make?

Giraffes are known to be peaceful creatures, yet they may also produce noise. They occasionally make casual noises like snorts and moans. Some noises, however, are saved for exceptional circumstances, such as calling their calves home.

We’ll be discussing every sound a giraffe can produce in this post, even those that are inaudible to human ears! So proceed with caution. After reading this, you’ll know everything there is to know about the bizarre and absurd noises that giraffes can make.

1. Snort

By forcing air between their noses, giraffes snort. These amazing animals can communicate with one another using snorts. Snorts might occur singly at times or as part of a half-hour vocalisation.

A few metres away, a researcher heard a bunch of giraffes snorting. When they detected the scent of humans, the seven giraffes, who were contentedly snorting and nibbling on leaves, changed their behaviour. The casual snorts turned into agitated hisses and swaying of the neck.

2. Hiss

A giraffe will hiss briefly if it feels threatened. The hiss is akin to a musk deer’s protective hissing noises. Like giraffes, musk deer are often reticent animals. That all alters, though, in the event of a danger. Musk deer who are startled can hiss and even scream.

Even though they can’t scream as loudly as a musk deer, giraffes may nonetheless project fear through their body language. Giraffes that are hissing often shake their long necks in response to anything that threatens them. Additionally, adults may hiss at their young when they misbehave.

3. Bellow

Giraffes, like many other animals, have a unique method of communicating with their offspring. When a mother giraffe is looking for her young, she will bellow loudly and low. These vocalisations at low frequencies have a great range.

4. Bleat

When giraffes are hungry, their babies will bleat. It sounds kind of whining. The high-pitched vocalisation sounds a bit like the goofy noises made by lambs.Another species that is known to bleat for attention is elk calves.

5. Moo

Young giraffes can occasionally make a low mooing sound. It’s not, however, the commanding moo you might anticipate from a cow. Rather, the frequency and intensity of this sound are far lower. This video shows a young giraffe cuddling with its mother; it’s quite cute!

6. Cough

It’s true that giraffes can cough. The cough you might make when cleaning your throat is not the same as this one. It sounds more like a “puff” instead, and it doesn’t help them get rid of any obstructions in their throat. Usually, there are additional noises, like a sigh, that go along with this vocalisation.

7. Whistle

Can you picture seeing a whistling giraffe while on a safari? Giraffes can whistle, though not as melodiously as you or I could, but they can whistle in a high-pitched voice. Some describe it as having a flute-like sound.

8. Hum

Giraffes congregate around dusk to relax and occasionally to hum. Yes, giraffes are capable of humming! They are assumed to be communicating with each other through the harmonic vocalisation. Remember this the next time you head to bed: somewhere, a giraffe is lulling a family member to sleep. The segments from this research film allow you to experience the remarkable sound for yourself.

9. Grunt

A giraffe is also capable of making a loud grunting sound. Similar to numerous other giraffe noises, this vocalisation is uncommon. Grunts are saved for dire circumstances instead. Giraffes may start to hiss, groan, and grunt in response to perceived threats.

10. Sneeze

Choo! Another sound that giraffes produce is sneezing. Frequently, a burp, snort, or grunt will accompany a loud sneeze! If you’re close by, exercise caution. A giraffe’s sneeze can travel great distances and is frequently moist. When a giraffe sneezed on her child, the mother had to learn her lesson the hard way.

How a Giraffes Vocal Cords Work

Giraffes, like humans, have a larynx, or voice box. Vocal chords are located within the larynx, yet they function differently than you may think. Due in part to limited lung capacity, the vocal cord muscles aren’t able to make as many noises as those of other animals.

In addition to having small, narrow tracheas, giraffes also have poor lung capacities. As a result, not a lot of air passes across the vocal cords. The cords cannot vibrate in the same way as other animals, including humans, if there is not enough air. For this reason, giraffes are silent for the most part, with the exception of the odd snort, hiss, or feeble bleat. Giraffes employ a lot of infrasonic sounds instead of loud ones.

What Are Infrasonic Sounds?

It’s true that giraffes produce infrasonic noises. These vocalisations are too faint for human hearing to detect. Rather, the low-pitched groans and grunts are intended just for the ears of other giraffes.

Two zoos, one in North Carolina and the other in South Carolina, hosted the study. The researchers set out to record the sounds that giraffes make using a portable recording equipment. They succeeded in discovering that giraffes produce two different kinds of noises.

The sound that people can hear comes first. Most of the sounds that could be heard fell between 150 and 200 Hz. Then there are the infrasounds, which are audible only to humans. Usually, the infrasounds are between 20 and 40 Hz.

When producing infrasonic noises, researchers frequently noticed a “neck throw.” The giraffes shake their necks at this point, which might aid with vocalisation production. A lot of people believe that giraffes use infrasound as a covert means of communication within their herd.