It’s that time of year again – time for the Eurovision Song Contest! So we thought it’d be fun to see which of our animals here at Knowsley Safari would be in with a chance of winning! A lion’s roar, a baboon’s call, or a sea lion’s bark? Which animal sound is the most impressive? Which animal has the most flamboyant mating call? Read on as we explore some of our favourite animals’ vocal chords…
Elephants have an extremely complex communication system and use a range of sound frequencies. Other than the “trumpet” noise that we’re all familiar with, an elephant’s sounds also include grunts, snorts, cries, and barks. It’s important that elephants stick together in order to survive, so in order to do this, they’ve evolved many communication tactics, just like you and me! For example, in an elephant greeting ceremony, elephants vocalise a rumbling sound, whilst holding their heads high and vigorously flapping their ears, reaching out to other family members with their trunks. But that’s not all, elephants also communicate through subsonic vibrations that we can’t hear. They are able to call to each other by picking up these vibrations through the soft pads on the bottom of their feet.
A lion’s communicative sounds include meows, roars, moans, growls, snarls, purrs and woofs. The most recognised of these calls is the roar – one of the loudest calls in the animal kingdom and can be heard from up to 5 miles away – sure to bring the house down at Eurovision!? When lions greet each other and play together, they make lots of humming and puffing sounds to show they are happy.
A tiger’s sound is similar to that of a lion, comprising of powerful roars; moans, snarls, hisses, and purrs. Roaring is used in a variety of situations, including taking down prey, sexual receptivity and females calling to their young. ‘Chuffing’ is a friendly vocalisation that is used for greeting between tigers and consists of a soft “brrr” sound.
Baboons have an enormously large range of vocal and visual signals that they use to interact and communicate with. A baboon smacking its lips, whilst narrowing its eyes, is in a friendly mood. In situations of distress, baboons will scream, just like we do – maintaining a high-pitched, continuous sound in response to an intense emotion.
A sea lion’s call can be heard from afar – if you’ve visited our lovely sea lions, you’ll know that Biffo and the gang make a variety of noises that resemble honking, almost like the sound of a trumpet! When threatened, sea lions make a roaring sound, in an attempt to protect their territory. However, when they’re communicating amongst each other, their noises sound more like a bark.
The moose can be a very quiet animal, making a variety of grunting noises, however, when mating season comes around – you’ll be able to hear the moose from a mile away! Male and female moose have distinctly different sounds, and it is these sounds which allow us to distinguish them in the wild, from a distance. A female moose can usually be heard making a long, drawn out, moaning sound, whereas, the bulls (like our Bruce!) make a throaty, airy grunting sound.
Have you ever heard any of our noisy lot on your way round the park? Which of these animals makes the best noise? Let us know in the comments below!