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Can Animals Laugh?

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: May 13, 2018
Can Animals Laugh?

No matter whether we are animal experts or not, just being in the presence of an animal makes us feel better and happier. This is because animals have a very special energy and - in most cases - they are tender and easy-going.

Animals always make us laugh and smile, but many of us ask ourselves if it is reciprocal, that is, if they also experience happiness and show it by laughing and smiling. Can animals laugh? Do animals smile when they are happy?

In order to solve this mystery, we at AnimalWised went to work. If you want to know whether our wild friends can laugh, read this article to find out!

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Life can be fun...

... And not just for humans, animals can have a sense of humor too. There are studies that state that many animals such as dogs, chimpanzees, gorillas, rats and even birds can laugh. Perhaps they cannot do it the same way as we do, but there is evidence to suggest that they emit sounds similar to squeals or pants, somewhat like our laughter, but at the same time different. This is so that they can express when they are in a positive emotional state. In fact, it has been proven that some animals enjoy being tickled.

The work carried out by experts for many years has the goal to identify and recognize every laugh in the wild. The ape family can laugh, but they do so by emitting sounds such as panting, grunts, squeaks and even purrs.

When you notice your dog breathing quickly and intensely, it is not always because they are tired or are rapidly breathing. A long sound like this could well be a laugh; it is worth noting that this can calm the stress of other dogs.

Rodents love laughing too. Experts have conducted tests by tickling their neck area or inviting them to play. When they do this, rats make ultrasonic noises which scientists have deduced is the equivalent of human laughter.

Can Animals Laugh? - Life can be fun...

What else do scientists say?

According to a study published in a well-known American scientific journal, the neurological circuits that produce laughter are located in the oldest areas of the brain. Therefore animals may be able to perfectly express happiness through the sound of laughter, but that doesn't mean they vocalize laughter in the same way humans do.

In conclusion, humans are not the only animals capable of laughing and feeling happy. Everybody knows that all mammals and birds experience positive emotions. They may not show it with a smile - their skeleton and muscles just don't allow it - but animals do show their happiness through other behaviors that have the same result.

All in all, animals have their own way of letting us know when they are happy. For example, dolphins jump out of the water, elephants trumpet and cats purr. All these are forms of emotional expression similar to our smiles. Animals surprise us every day; scientists keep proving that they are more emotionally complex than we ever thought.

Can Animals Laugh? - What else do scientists say?

If you want to read similar articles to Can Animals Laugh?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

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