Just Giggling? Information Content of the Hyena’s Laugh
Nicolas Mathevon – firstname.lastname@example.org Université de Saint-Etienne, France (Currently Visiting Miller Professor at the University of California, Berkeley) Aaron Koralek Steve Glickman – email@example.com Frédéric Theunissen – firstname.lastname@example.org University of California, Berkeley Popular version of paper 4pAB3 presented at the 2009 157th ASA Meeting in Portland, Oregon.
Among the vocalizations used during interactions between adult clan-mates, we now focus on the “giggle call,” often referred as the”laugh” of the “laughing hyena.”Giggles are high-frequency sounds, commonly emitted in bouts, and often emitted when hyenas are engaged in competitive feeding on a common prey. Although whoops have been the subject of some excellent field reports, acoustic features of the giggle call have not been analyzed, presumably because of difficulties in isolating giggles from individual animals in the natural habitat. The captive colony of spotted hyenas, maintained at the Field Station for the Study of Behavior, Ecology, and Reproduction (University of California, Berkeley), displays the primary behavioral attributes of spotted hyenas in nature, including formation of a matrilineal social system and adult female dominance over adult males, although the hyenas are maintained in small groups. The existence of this captive colony permitted the recording of giggles from individual hyenas.
Listen to the hyena laughing.