Q:

What types of sounds do giraffes make?

A:

Quick Answer

Although they are rarely heard and often considered silent animals, giraffes communicate with each other through infrasonic sounds and can also produce a variety of vocal noises ranging from snorts and grunts to hisses and flute-like sounds. Calves are summoned by their mothers through whistling sounds and the young giraffes respond by mewing or bleating. When courting females, male giraffes may produce a loud and harsh coughing noise.

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What types of sounds do giraffes make?
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Full Answer

Giraffes usually produce sounds to warn other giraffes of danger and their use of infrasound enables them to communicate long distances. Although they are usually found in groups, they develop few strong social bonds and the members of a group can change over the course of a few hours. Up to 32 giraffes can make up a group, with the more stable groups being those made up of mothers and calves. The social cohesion of a stable group is helped by the bonding between calves. As the males grow older, they become more solitary and may wander far from the areas they normally frequent. Giraffes possess a home range, but are not territorial.

Mother giraffes with their calves may gather in nursery herds known as calving pools. Adult males display little involvement in raising calves, but mother giraffes will defend their calves by standing over them and kicking at an approaching predator. The bond between a calf and its mother can last as long as until the mother's next calving.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do giraffes communicate?

    A:

    Giraffes primarily communicate with each other using infrasonic sounds and vibrations, much like dolphins and some whales. Although giraffes are among the tallest mammals on the planet, they are some of the most silent. Giraffes rarely utter vocal sounds, although they occasionally interact with each other via grunts or high-pitched whistle-like cries.

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  • Q:

    What do giraffes eat while in captivity?

    A:

    Giraffes are fed a variety of fruits, vegetables and leaves in captivity, although each zoo offers a slightly different menu to these tall mammals. Among the common items offered to giraffes are lettuces, carrots, apples, bananas and alfalfa hay. Many zoos raise these food items high in the air to simulate the giraffe’s natural feeding behavior.

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  • Q:

    How do giraffes protect themselves?

    A:

    Giraffes have several ways of protecting themselves, including moving in large groups that make it hard to pick out just one giraffe from the rest of the group. They also defend themselves by their fierce karate-style kicks. The giraffe's gait, or way of moving, which is called pacing, is also protective and allows them to escape from predators by both moving their back and front legs moving forward together at one time.

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  • Q:

    Where do giraffes live in the wild?

    A:

    In the wild most giraffes live in central, eastern and southern Africa, south of the Sahara desert. Their range runs from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south. A small group also lives in western Africa in Niger.

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