We did not despair! We conducted another round of searches and doubled our total. Unbelievably, there have only been 21 studies published between 1958 and 2018 on the topic of giraffe communication. Furthermore, only five of these studies examined giraffe vocalizations. These found that giraffes produce infrasonic and audible vocalizations (i.e., hums, snorts, growls, hisses, bursts). The studies that focused on giraffe chemical and visual communication tended to investigate form and structure of the organs responsible for the production of these signals. These found substantive evidence that giraffes have acute visual and chemical senses. For example, giraffe eyes are the largest among land mammals and next to diurnal primates in visual acuity.
We have just published this review, entitled “How do giraffes locate one another? A review of visual, auditory, and olfactory communication among giraffes” in the Journal of Zoology. In this publication, we synthesize the published information on giraffe communication across visual, auditory and olfactory dimensions. We describe what is currently known of these dimensions and codify potential avenues for further giraffe communication research. Hopefully, this article will demonstrate to the scientific community how little we know of giraffe communication in the hopes that we can renew our efforts to learn more about the ecology of this majestic species.