What Sound Does A Giraffe Make?

What Sound Does A Giraffe Make?

Last Updated on March 3, 2022 by

Are Giraffes Physically Capable Of Making Sound?

Giraffes are tall, thin animals with long necks. Their lungs are very small, but they can breathe well. They use their long necks to reach high up into the trees.

Giraffes communicate mostly by visual means. Their vision is very sharp, and they use this ability to communicate with each other.

They also toss their heads up and down when they want something. They wave their mane around when they’re excited or angry.

What Noise Does A Giraffe Make?

Giraffes make many sounds. Some are loud and others are soft. They also make some sounds while sleeping.

Giraffes make low-frequency hums when they’re asleep or dreaming. This might be because they’re trying to communicate with each other while they’re sleeping. Or maybe they’re just talking about how cute they are!

Read on to find a list of all the noises that giraffes are known to make.

Loud Coughs

Interestingly, male giraffes are known to make a coughing noise – but only when they are ‘courting’ female giraffes! It isn’t known why they do this, however, scientists suspect it may be a way of making them seem more attractive. 

Snorts And Grunts

Giraffes are large herbivores that notoriously use their long necks to browse for plants – particularly leafy foliage in trees. However, they are often a form of prey when it comes to meat-eating predators in the wild.

When threatened by predators, giraffes will typically stand up on their hind legs and make loud noises to scare away the danger. Some of these noises are snorting and grunting.

On top of this, male giraffes may grunt when fighting for dominance over another male.


As a universal form of communication, giraffes use hisses to talk to each other – no matter age or sex. It is well-known that when a female giraffe gets angry, she may hiss.

Male giraffes may hiss too, but they mainly seem to do this as a warning signal. Interestingly, it is often used by males to warn females specifically about incoming danger!

Bellows And Whistles

These sounds are particularly used by female giraffes. They make bellowing and whistling sounds to communicate with their offspring. The bellows and whistles help females locate their babies, almost like a giraffe ‘sonar’. 

Bleats, Mews, And Moos

Giraffes are loud creatures who make lots of noise. Their cries help them communicate with each other.

Giraffes don’t have tails, but they do have long legs and necks. Baby giraffes start making noise when they’re quite young. Interestingly, however, baby giraffes are actually noisier than the adults of the species! 

These noises are made up of mewing, mooing, and bleating. They do this when they are either hungry or scared, but they may also just make noises when they want to get their mom’s attention. These types of noises stop at around one-year-old. 

Noises Of The Digestive System

There is no other way of phrasing this, other than giraffes are loud creatures who belch and fart as they digest their food! 

Are There Any Differences Between Younger And Older Giraffe Sounds? 

Are There Any Differences Between Younger And Older Giraffe Sounds?

Elder Giraffe Sounds

As we have already discussed, adult giraffes will make snorting and grunting sounds. Recently, however, scientists have discovered another noise that mature giraffes commonly make – humming!

Within an amazing scientific study where they recorded giraffes at all times of day, they noticed that mature giraffes make humming sounds when it’s dark. 

It was thought that this sound was actually infrasound. Infrasound is an extremely low-frequency sound wave that humans can hear, but dogs can’t.

Dogs don’t know what infrasound is, but they do know how to communicate using infrasound. However, after observing the recordings these scientists collected, they found that the humming noise was actually at the low end of human hearing.

Young Giraffe Sounds

Baby giraffes are especially loud creatures that make lots of noise. It isn’t known why they have a larger range of noticeable sounds, but they are very vocal!

Their noises include grunts, moans, and snorts. They also make other sounds such as bleats, snorts, coughs, and hisses.

Scientists believe that there are a total of 12 different sounds that young giraffes will make, all of which are forms of communication.

Just like a human baby is very vocal (with sounds like crying and laughing) when it wants its mother’s attention, a young giraffe will do the same thing. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Do Giraffes Have Vocal Cords? 

Giraffes actually have a voice box, otherwise known as a larynx. However, because their necks are so long, it can be difficult for the animal to produce enough airflow to vibrate the vocal elements sufficiently. This is one of the reasons why giraffes are notoriously very quiet animals! 

What Kind Of Environment Do Giraffes Live In? 

Giraffes are found in desert-like environments, particularly semi-arid areas. This means that there is slightly more rain than a fully-fledged desert, which ensures that the giraffes will have some woodland to feed on! 

The most common area to find giraffes is in sub-Saharan Africa, but different species of giraffes will live in different areas.  

To Sum Up

All giraffe species can make many sounds. Most of them are very low frequencies, however, which is why it was thought for so long that there was no sound at all.

Humming is one of the most frequent sounds. New Scientist says that giraffes hum at night to communicate with each other, but this was only discovered recently. Other common noises for all ages of giraffes are hissing, snorting, and grunting.

There is a difference in types of sounds between younger and older giraffes, but the main difference between the ages is how often they make these noises.

Older giraffes tend to be more ‘reserved’ with their sounds, but younger giraffes are incredibly noisy and are constantly making sounds – particularly for attention. 

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