Page last updated at 10:32 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 11:32 UK

Giggle of a dominant female hyena

Advertisement

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have discovered the social information encoded in the laughing sounds hyenas make as they compete for food.

Younger hyenas had higher-pitched giggles, and subordinate females had more variable bouts of giggles, with a wider variety of sounds.

By contrast, dominant females - the clans' leaders - had less variable vocalisations.

Here, the dominant female Kadogo demonstrates a lower-pitched and less widely-varying bout of giggles than other clan members.

Story Tools

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific