Communication is crucial to humans. Through communication, we can understand each other, build our nation, and survive our daily battle. We can express our thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Animals, same as humans, communicate with one another too, like how a dog wags its tail to show affection, male birds sing to find mates, tiger roars as a sign of dominance, etc. Their ability to produce sound is crucial in their lives. But, what if an animal cannot make sounds?
Some of the quietest animals include fish, jellyfish, snakes, bunnies, giraffes, and sharks. These animals are not capable of making sounds through their vocal box and mouth. But despite these anatomical restrictions, they still exist and survive the wild.
The Quietest Animals in the World
Animals’ ability to create sounds plays a crucial role in their lives. But few animals cannot produce sounds. Here are the top animals that are quiet:
What Makes Them Quiet?
These animals are so quiet because most of them do not have vocal cords that make them incapable of making sounds. Here are some examples of known silent animals in the wild that unable to make a sound:
Jellyfish are gelatinous members of the subphylum Medusozoa. They are amazing sea creatures that are captivating and fun to watch. Some glow in the dark through bioluminescence. But, despite the beauty of jellyfish, they sting, and because they are silent, it is harder to know their presence right away. Jellyfish have no brain. Therefore, they are not capable of producing any form of communication.
Fish is a silent pet that we usually have at home. But contrary to what most of us know, some fish can utter vocalizations. Even though they do not have vocal cords, they make weird sounds such as chirps, grunts, or squeaks. It is hard to record the sounds they make because they are shy, quiet, and elusive. Marine Biologists recorded these sounds using underwater microphones.
Rabbits or Oryctolagus cuniculus belong to Mammalia. They are cute, adorable, and charming small creatures that we keep as indoor pets. Just like the other silent marine animals, bunnies do not have vocal cords too. However, despite their inability to make sounds out of their mouths, bunnies are still capable of creating mechanical sounds especially, when in danger. They usually squeak, whimper, and thump as a sign of distress.
Giraffes are legendary giants. This mammal can produce a low-frequency sound that does not audible to the human ear. They use infrasonic communication (low-frequency sound less than 20Hz). Giraffe hiss and grunts when threatened or in distress. They are very good at tactile communication, especially when in a fight. These giants use their long necks to fight each other.
Snails are entirely silent gastropod creatures. They can only produce mechanical sounds like when eating or when retracting into their shells.
Sharks or Selachimorpha are silent killers of the sea. Their ability to swim in silence makes them great predators of the marine world. They communicate via non-verbal cues such as touching, smelling, gaping, and electromagnetism.
Are they Capable of Making Sounds?
Not all animals can make a sound. In fact, various animals in the wild cannot possibly make a sound out of their mouth or voice boxes. Some animals are born not to have vocal cords, whether in marine, air, and land. But these silent animals are still capable of making sounds. Not by their mouth, but through mechanical sounds. These sounds are produced when they eat, clap, or move. So, they are not entirely silent at all. They can use other parts of their body such as lungs, claws, and many more. They can produce low-frequency sounds, hisses, grunts, honks, and moans.
How Do They Communicate?
Silent animals are still capable of communicating through nonverbal cues and mechanical sounds. They have a unique way of communicating, such as stridulation, infrasound, electromagnetism, and mechanical actions. Essentially, there are four types of communication among animals which are:
- Visual– animals use signals through their gestures, facial expressions, body positions. It can be through a facial grin, change of color, strut, and even through dancing.
- Auditory– is more common to land and air animals like birds, frogs, snakes, etc. They make a sound to convey warnings, attract mates, or even coordinate their behaviors.
- Tactile– it plays a crucial role in the social relationship of the animal. Through touch, they can show care for one another. Thus, reinforcing cooperation and bonds to their group.
- Chemical– some animals release pheromone (chemical signal used to trigger a response from another animal) to attract the opposite sex, alarm, mark a food trace, or provoke other species.
Just like humans, communication is crucial to their survival, even to the quietest animal on earth. Communication helps them interact to carry out primary life functions such as preserving their species, finding food, protecting territory, showing dominance, finding mates, or casting away threats from predators.