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Hyena has hidden ‘language’ of groans

Hyena has hidden ‘language’ of groans

New Scientist

Image: mape_s

Hyenas are famous for their loud laughs, but hyena groans may be an equally important facet of their vocal repertoire.

The spotted hyena has a rich range of vocal calls, including loud whoops and giggles. But in intimate social situations, hyenas often groan softly to one another.

Frédéric Theunissen’s team at the University of California in Berkeley, US, is using a captive hyena colony in Berkeley Hills to study those groans, which are too subtle to record in the wild.

“[The noises] must communicate something,” says Theunissen. “Hyenas groan every time they approach something of interest.” Read more on…