06. 08. 12. - 17:01
Austrian scientists decode elephant speak
Scientists at the University of Vienna claim to have decoded the 'secret language' of elephants.
Elephant researcher Angela Stöger has spent years in the African bush studying elephant noises, to analyse their communication and why exactly they make the sounds they do.
She said: "Elephants are able to communicate with each other over a number of kilometres. They often use infrasonic sounds which human ears cannot pick up and are comparable with the deepest sounds from an organ."
Stöger who worked together with Christian Herbst and Tecumseh Fitch for years to conclude in the report published in the specialist magazine 'Science' that the elephants have the same physical noise making mechanism as humans use to speak and sing. Elephant babies for example use these noises to cry for their mothers just like human babies do.
Teenage elephants have hoarse forms of voice just like those tones often used by heavy metal singers.
Stöger said: "After spending so much time studying the animals I understand them a whole lot better.
As well as studying live elephants in their natural habitat they also analysed the head of a dead elephant to better understand its anatomical set up and vocal chords to see how it produced sound.