Zoo-Raised Gorillas Prefer Forest Sounds Over Chopin

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The sounds of a gently babbling stream or leaves rustling in the wind can calm city-dwellers far from woodsy retreats. These natural sounds may also influence the behavior of gorillas raised in zoos that have never seen a rainforest.

Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) exhibited fewer stress-related behaviors when a recording of rainforest sounds was played in their enclosure. They responded more strongly to these sounds than to classical or rock music, or no music at all. The results, accepted for publication in the journal Zoo Biology, suggest that the forest melodies were more effective at reducing stress-induced habits such as hair-plucking or regurgitating food in the three gorillas studied. (…)

Read the rest at Inside Science.

Image credit: dstrelau via flickr | http://bit.ly/1lpgfRJ

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