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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why hyenas laugh:Part 2

After I wrote my last blog entry I did some more research online concerning the human/scientific explanation for the hyena "laugh". Here is what I found:

1. "Nicholas Mathevon, a biologist at the University of Jean Monnet, in Saint-Etienne, France, who studied captive hyenas, recording their laughs and subjecting them to sophisticated acoustical studies concluded that the hyena "laugh", is a multi-informative signalMathevon found that the laugh tends to occur when subordinate animals are attacked or chased away by dominant hyenas during feeding times and "is mainly emitted when [the animal] is frustrated..."What has puzzled scientists is that the 'laugh' is so loud. Such a loud vocalisation would attract other hyenas, increasing the strength of the pack and thus reducing the animal's food supply further."

"But, it might also draw other predators, such as lions, to steal food.
Perhaps, Mathevon speculated, this means that dominant animals are forced to keep them quiet by allowing them to eat so that larger predators aren't drawn to sounds that signal mealtimes."

2.In the article, "

Hyena laughs and giggles decoded", which you can read by going to the  
following website:
"In the first study to decipher the hyena's so-called "laugh", they have shown that
 the pitch of the giggle reveals a hyena's age.What is more, variations in the
 frequency of notes used when a hyena makes a noise convey information 
about the animal's social rank.spotted hyenas, females dominate, holding 
a higher rank than all other males, whatever their age. Profs Theunissen and
 Mathevon's research suggests that the animals convey this status via their laugh
 or giggle, which they usually make while fighting over food.Previously their sounds
 had been considered a simple gesture of submission, but the new study has allowed 
researchers to identify exactly which individual hyena makes each giggle, and the 
circumstances in which they do so.The information contained within the giggles
 could be especially important for males new to a clan, as they go immediately 
to the bottom of the hierarchy when they arrive.

Getting to know quickly who is who may give these individuals a better chance
 of improving their own status.
Giggles could also allow hyenas to recruit allies, for instance when
one or two hyenas are outnumbered by lions fighting over the same kill."

Of course until we can actually talk with a hyena in common language, these ideas
 mentioned above
are speculation, which means the video at the following link could also be
the reason that hyena's
engage in what we consider to be "laughing behavior" LOL

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.