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Take a moment to imagine that you don’t know what the concept of music is, you have never heard a note played on a violin or a piano and out of nowhere you start listening to unusual frequencies and vibrations; you’d like to know where it comes from and what it does!
Smithsonian's National Zoo let its mammalian maestros play some musical instruments; it's a sensory experience they'd never get in the wild.
Well this is what music sounds like to some animals. Music has been proven to be an expression of moods and emotions influencing our behavior, but did you know that it has stress-relief properties for them as well?
In the wild, animals live their lives hunting for food, defending their territory and mating. However, for some endangered species who are located in sanctuaries, zoos, and ecological reserves, life can be a little boring without the proper physical and mental stimuli.
Source: Youtube, Kate U, Mystic Aquarium
Beluga whale dancing to “Silver Bells”
Which animals are more likely to react to music?
Have you ever spotted a parrot or cockatoo bobbing its head or jumping along with music?
Singing is an important part of a bird's life, not only for fun, but it’s also a great way to alert other birds of danger, find mating partners, mark their territory and ask for help.
Source: Youtube, Tico & the Man Frank Maglio
Parrot sings “Sultans of Swing” with his owner.
Baboons and Gibbons
Did you know that some gibbons sing duets? The voices of these groups of primates can be heard 1km away from their nest and usually warns the relationship between a male and a female.
Source: Youtube, Animalarea
Gibbon sings opera
Some researchers have even found that chimpanzees are more likely to prefer particular rhythmic patterns like Western music, blues, pop and classical.
Music has also helped to improve blood pressure and heart rate in both humans and animals.
Paul Barton is a pianist who has been collaborating with Elephants World, a sanctuary in Thailand dedicated to old and blind elephants. Paul has been able to catch the reaction of some elephants to different music genres.
Source: Youtube, CNN, Paul Barton
This piano duet is elephantastic!
It’s all about frequencies! Did you know that rats make a distinguishable sound when you tickle them on the back? This curious response comes from the fact that the neural activity is activating the ultrasonic vocalizations which causes stress-relief and more pleasing emotions to the rat.
Dogs and Cats
In rare circumstances, cats have found specific music and sounds to be calming. Dogs on the other hand find themselves curious when they see humans playing an unnatural sound and wonder where it comes from, which is why we see funny behaviors like head tilting and tail shaking.
Source: Youtube, “You Are My Sunshine” cover by Malinda Herman
It has been proven that cows are not immune to the effects of music as well. Some studies showed that dairy cows could modify their milk ejection depending on the mood that music makes them feel; the slower the music is, the more milk cows would produce!
Source: Youtube, Newhot5
Cows jazzing in the fields
Some horses also react to music. Curiosity is their first instinct and it looks like younger foals are more likely to catch the attention of the instrument for a longer period of time.
Source: Youtube, Adam Riggs
Horses listening to Bach performance
Are your pets bored lately as well? Make sure to provide your pet with a good session of music with your daily playtime hour! (Pssst! We got you covered with our Songs Around the World Playlist)
Source: Youtube. Omorshuis
Remember, music is not only good for your pet, but also for you ;)
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