Laughter is not just for humans. It appears many animals are also laughers.


That’s the finding of of a study out of UCLA, which looked at other studies on play behavior in animals.

When they looked at whether these past studies mentioned vocal play behavior, they found 65 species that made sounds akin to laughter.

Dogs and primates might not surprise you, but how about foxes? Or seals?

A mongoose can make laughter-like sounds, and so can a parakeet.

It’s certainly possible other creatures use vocal play signals too, but it’s not always easy in the wild to measure whether animals are laughing.

The researchers say some animals use vocal play sounds to let others know they’re having fun and encourage them to join in.

In other cases, animals who are play fighting use these sounds to make sure everyone knows it’s not actual fighting.

And I’m sure there’s at least one animal or two that’s using these signals to try out new material ahead of their Netflix standup comedy special.

Which brings up a question: if animals can laugh, what kind of jokes should we be telling them?

It was 50 years ago this week that the acclaimed film Wake In Fright debuted at the Cannes Film Festival.

It was thought to be lost for good – but in 2002, the film’s editor, Anthony Buckley, finally found the original materials… in a box that was to be destroyed the very next week.

Animals laugh too, UCLA analysis suggests (UCLA)

The Recovery and Re-Release of a Classic (National Film and Sound Archive of Australia)

Our Patreon backers give us lots to smile about 

Photo by Carlos Bustamante Restrepo via Flickr/Creative Commons