Despite possession of a well developed larynx and a gregarious nature, the Giraffe is able to utter only low moans or bleats. Morphological and histological examination, together with measurements of trachea and subglottic area on three fresh larynges (Giraffa camelopardalis) has made it possible to explain the lack of vocal power. Factors such as thoracic expiratory flow rate, length of trachea and recurrent laryngeal nerves, together with morphological details of vocal folds and intrinsic laryngeal muscles have all been considered, providing a unique example of the relationship between morphology and function in the mammalial larynx.
Keywords: larynx, trachea, vocal power, morphology, giraffe
Author: D.F.N. Harrison
Journal: Acta Otolaryngol (1980) 258-264