Hyena Laughter
  • Matthew Daniel
  • May 1, 2023

Have You Ever Heard a Hyena Laugh? Discover the Facts about Hyena Laughter

Have you ever wondered what a hyena laugh sounds like? Hyenas are known for their distinct, cackling laugh that is often portrayed in movies and TV shows. But why do they laugh, and what does it mean?

Why Do Hyenas Laugh?

Hyenas use laughter as a form of communication. It is a way for them to bond with other members of their clan, establish dominance, and signal danger or aggression. Hyenas also use laughter as a way to express excitement, fear, or submission.

What Does a Hyena Laugh Sound Like?

A hyena laugh is a high-pitched cackle that sounds like “hee-hee-hee” or “whoop-whoop-whoop.” It is a loud, raucous sound that can be heard from a distance of up to three miles away. Hyenas have a unique vocal structure that allows them to produce this distinct laughter, which is used in a variety of social situations.

What Are the Different Types of Hyena Laugh?

Hyenas produce several types of laughter, each with its own meaning. The most common type of laughter is the giggle, which is used to signal playfulness and excitement. The snicker is a quieter, more subdued form of laughter that is used to express submission or fear. The whoop is a long, drawn-out laugh that is used to signal aggression or danger.

What Does Hyena Laughter Mean?

Hyena laughter can have several meanings, depending on the situation. It is often used to signal playfulness or excitement, especially during social interactions between clan members. Hyenas also use laughter to establish dominance or to signal aggression, such as when defending their territory or food sources.

Do All Hyenas Laugh?

Not all hyenas laugh. Only spotted hyenas, which are the most common species of hyena, produce the distinct cackling laugh that is associated with hyenas. Striped hyenas and brown hyenas, which are less common, produce different vocalizations.


Hyena laughter is a fascinating aspect of these unique animals’ behavior. Their laughter serves as a form of communication, bonding, and signaling in their social interactions. So, the next time you hear a hyena laugh in a movie or on a TV show, you’ll know what it means and how it sounds in the wild.


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