The Secret Sounds of Quiet Animals

Even though animals cannot speak in the same way that  humans do, they still have their own unique way of communicating with each other.  Some communicate by making powerful roars, chirping loudly, screaming, or barking. However, some animals are fairly quiet which can certainly have its advantages.

One animal that quietly moves  from place to place is the rabbit. You may think a rabbit is completely quiet, however, in addition to the sounds they make when hopping about, they also make a growling noise similar to a dog. They do this as a warning to another animal as to say stop do not come closer and do not mess with me. Along with this noise, they may pounce on the animal that is bothering them. Rabbits also will grind their 12 molars  together softly to communicate that they are happy; however, loud teeth grinding communicates that they are in pain. They also will thump one of their back feet in attempt to scare an animal away or to warn fellow rabbits of potential danger. Rabbits may be quick and quiet, but they are not defenseless and meek!.

Giraffes are also quiet but mighty animals. For many years people didn’t believe that giraffes made any noise other than their occasional snort. However, in recent years  and after audio recording more than 900 hours in giraffe’s enclosures at zoos, researchers found that giraffes actually hum. This hum is believed to be a way of communication between giraffes. Their humming was found to be 92Hz in frequency; loud enough for humans to hear if you listen closely. Currently, it is unknown if the humming is also used by giraffes in the wild.  

When you think of dog sounds, most think of loud barking or growling. However, the Bansenji,  is a breed of dogs originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa that is known as the barkless dogs. These dogs have also been depicted in   art from ancient Egypt and for good reason – they have spectacular abilities. These dogs were used by many for their hunting because of their keen eyesight, sense of smell and lightning speed. Basenji dogs don’t bark but make a quiet yodeling noise to communicate. Some believe this is because the dogs do not want to be located when hunting.

Another animal that are quiet most hours of the day are snakes. Snakes are known to be stealthy, creepy, and will show up in your vicinity unannounced without shame. Snakes can not make more noise beyond a hissing sound and the noise they make when biting its prey or moving through leaves. Some snake breeds such as the Pine Snake, King Cobra, Sonoran Coral Snake, Western Hook-nosed Snake, can actually make noises other snakes are unable to make. The Pine Snake is one unique snake. Unlike other snakes, pine snakes have a vocal cord, which allows them to make a screeching sound, much like a bat. Some select species of snakes such as the Sonoran Coral Snake and Western Hook-nosed Snake can also make a popping noise; they do this as a defensive move when cornered. They make this sound by pushing air out of vents in their back end; it is essentially a snake fart. Another snake that can make an abnormal noise is the King Cobra. They will stand up against its prey and growl when it feels threatened.

Even the quietest animals are capable of making the noises needed to protect themselves, communicate, or attract prey. Let us celebrate the quiet animals on the planet! May we never forget that just because they may not be heard often, that they are are still fascinating individuals and important to the entire ecosystem.

Sources: American Kennel Club, Anapsid, Mental Floss, Time