Laughter is the most common human reaction to a funny joke or tickle. It also helps to keep physical health in good shape and protects against the occurrence of mental disorders and stress. Even some species of animals are able to laugh and it's time to deal with this question too - let's find out what other living organisms can laugh and why do they need it? Recently, researchers from the US state of California began listening to animal sounds for signals that could somehow be interpreted as laughter. As it turned out, a lot of animals make sounds similar to laughter, and mainly during the game.
Animal laughter from the point of view of science
The results of the work carried out by scientists were published in the scientific publication Phys.org. As part of the study, Californian researchers listened to recordings of voices from different species of animals and studied the literature on their play behavior. They determined in advance what key the animal laughter can be, as well as what its volume, length, rhythm and number of repetitions are. As a result of the search, it turned out that 65 species of animals publish something similar to laughter. Among them were dogs, parrots, several species of birds and, of course, monkeys. Also, scientists noted that some animals communicate using body language and facial expressions, although this has long been known.
Animals can express emotions in a variety of ways, and laughter is one of them.
Why do animals laugh?
According to one of the authors of the scientific work, Greg Bryant (Greg Bryant), their work proves that not only people, but also animals can laugh. Scientists also noted that when a person laughs, he gives others a signal that he is having fun, and, as it were, invites them to him. Animals use laughter for about the same purpose - making characteristic sounds during the game, they call their relatives to join in the fun. The games of many animals look like a fierce fight, but the laughter emitted makes other animals understand that the battles are not for real and nothing bad threatens them.
Animals mostly laugh while playing … or tickling
What does animal laughter sound like?
It is very difficult to describe the laughter of all animals, but let's look at at least a few examples. In the 1970s, renowned primatologist Jane Goodall noticed that female monkeys sometimes tickle males during love games. In response, the male primates made "gurgling" sounds, probably denoting laughter.
Parrots have fun with loud cries. According to sources on the Internet, colorful birds from the South American jungle put on whole comedy performances. Nature lovers have seen how one parrot plays the role of a clown and pretends that it cannot take off. His relatives, looking at all this from the branches of trees, made loud sounds, that is, they laughed.
Even rats can laugh, but scientists mostly managed to fix their laughter only during tickling. Below you can watch a video from Animal Planet of a woman tickling rodents and a man recording their laughter using a high-frequency sound detector. The fact is that the human ear simply cannot catch the rat squeak emitted during laughter - special equipment is needed. The most ticklish spots in rats are the abdomen and legs. A special part of the brain is responsible for laughter in rats, and if you act on it with electricity, the rodents also begin to laugh, without even feeling ticklish.
Why tickling laugh?
At the same time, it is completely unclear why animals need such a tickling reflex. With people, everything is already quite clear - laughter in response to tickling was passed on to us from our distant ancestors. The fact is that ancient people lived in the wild and it was important for them to feel the crawling on the body of even the smallest insect, because any of them could be deadly. And why animals laugh while tickling is not entirely clear. Perhaps the reason is the same, because horses even begin to laugh (literally and figuratively) when they are combed in the armpit area.