Hyraxes are Sophisticated Communicators Say Researchers

Posted on April 18, 2012

A new study, published here in Proceedings of The Royal Society B, says rock hyraxes are sophisticated communicators. The researchers found that the songs of male rock hyraxes contain complex syntactic vocalizations. Vocalizations like these have previously been studied only in primates, cetaceans and bats.

The researchers say syntactic dialects exist in rock hyrax songs, and the syntax of hyrax calls is significantly different between different regions in Israel. Call syntax difference is positively correlated to geographical distance over short distances. Here are videos of singing hyraxes:

Arik Kershenbaum, the lead author of the hyrax communication study, from the University of Haifa in Israel, explains the different Hyrax sounds - wails, chucks, snorts, squeaks and tweets - in an audio clip on BBC News.

Here is a general video about the rock hyrax by Kershenbaum. Take a look:

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