General Question

Poser's avatar

Are humans the only animals with a sense of humor?

Asked by Poser (7782 points ) March 3rd, 2008

Dolphins and apes make noises that resemble laughter, but is it humor, or something else?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

28 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

I can’t say for sure..

My cat feels pain, love, and fear. I would assume she finds things funny too. I would consider all of those as natural emotions.

And I don’t know if my cat loves me but I think she does.

delirium's avatar

look up “tickling rats” on youtube. (I would link but I’m on my phone)

segdeha's avatar

Yep. Except for dolphins and chimps. And otters. So, I guess, nope.

scamp's avatar

Let’s not forget the laughing Hyena!!

thankgodforbeef's avatar

i think my dog has a sense of humor.

when one of the other dogs gets hit in the face, she laughs so hard. also, when anyone in my family tries to sing, her tail wags and she starts to grin. we are so bad! maybe i’m just paranoid.

jlacombe's avatar

My parrot sometimes laughing at me and less often with me.

kawaii_ninja's avatar

I think so, my grandma’s dog smiles at me a lot, maybe it thinks i’m funny? Its a very good question! ;]

fortris's avatar

My cat may not “giggle” but she’s always laughing at me.

Poser's avatar

Not to start any arguments about your pets, but aren’t we just projecting our human traits onto these animals? Dogs don’t smile. In fact, when “meeting” a new dog, it’s recommended that humans not smile, as it is interpreted as a baring of the teeth—a sign of aggression.

@thankgodforbeef—What does a laughing dog sound like?

@johnpowell—I doubt that animals feel emotion. Besides, humor is not an emotion.

@delirium—Great link, and the closest to answering the question. Though I’m not entirely convinced.

@segdeha—Yes, but are the sounds made by these animals actual laughter—do they find something funny? Or are we trying to project our senses of humor on animals?

breedmitch's avatar

Check out this month’s National Geographic.

Zaku's avatar

Cats definitely seem to have amusement and fun vs. boredom. They have something like ridicule vs. dignity too, and I think probably some kind of sense of humor. Neighbor cats used to come to provoke and watch my cat make a fool of herself trying to attack them through the glass windows…

segdeha's avatar

@breedmitch, What’s it say??

@Poser, There have been documented cases (sorry, no sources on-hand) of dolphins beating the crap out of other sea life for no apparent reason. The conclusion scientists have made is that it’s out of boredom and for amusement. So, it seems a small leap to think they could have something like a sense of humour.

Mtl_zack's avatar

it is believed by some ethologists( but not published yet) that laughing and yawning are ways to get oxygen into the body. You yawn when you’re tired because you need oxygen to fiction. Your nerves might have needed more oxygen than they do now, such as birds, so when we get tickled, our nerves react and need more oxygen. Laughing is not because of humour but because we need more oxygen in our bodies. Others believe it is a form of communication. FYI, ethology is the study of animal behavior.

Zaku's avatar

@Mtl_zack: “Laughing is not because of humour but because we need more oxygen in our bodies.”
– Thanks! I needed a good deep breath right about then!!

kawaii_ninja's avatar

What about hiccups then =S

kawaii_ninja's avatar

Oh yeah i remember! Hiccups are caused by a muscle near your lungs that goes into spasm i think…

christybird's avatar

I think some crows, ravens and jays (the “corvids” – a very smart family of birds) have a sense of humor. I worked at a raptor rehabilitation center and we had an old blind Red-shouldered Hawk female who would always call in the spring (looking for a mate – sad!) One day she was calling and I heard a response. When I came outside, I saw there was a blue jay sitting on top of her cage doing a perfect mimic of her call – the hawk would call, then the jay, then the hawk. I swear the jay was teasing her.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

I find it hard to believe that, after seeing all the ridiculous things that have happened in my house over the years, my dogs have not shared a little chuckle now and then.

gooch's avatar

Chimps do

thankgodforbeef's avatar

@kawaii_ninja: i believe it is the diaphragm what spasms.

kawaii_ninja's avatar

@thankgodforbeef – thanks ^^

Valhalla30's avatar

I think it’s mostly mimicry but what is cool is when they learn to use it appropriately. I have an African Grey who laughs when he hears laughter, but it also seems when he has learned a situation that generates laughter, he seems to do it by himself. It’s very cool!

tammy444's avatar

i think they do,why my dog was just telling me the other day a good joke about a 3 legged pig,who went into a bar,sorry could,nt resist.lol

trainerboy's avatar

No way!!! Cockroaches are notorious pranksters! They even have comedy clubs in the walls of homes. You can see them in their little tuxedos. Don’t believe me? Get some, let them multiply in your home and then a month or two later you will see what I mean!

nocountry2's avatar

Oh are you kidding? Once my roommate left for a whole week and her cat was so pissed he crapped on her pillow…doesn’t get much more personal than that….I thought it was hilarious!

Also, my ferrets seem to think sneaking under the covers and biting my toes is the funniest thing in the world – I start yelling and jumping, they get all excited and dance around, I take a swipe at them and they dash off, returning a few minutes later try again…

Ryanmiller's avatar

have u ever seen americas funniest home videos- there are alot of funny animals on there

RocketGuy's avatar

My dog will tease by dropping a toy and challenging me to grab it before he can, but he has no sense of humor at all. I’ll do goofy stuff and he just looks at me blankly.

comicalmayhem's avatar

no, if you play with a dog like make funny faces or bounce around they will not laugh but will smile or find amusement.

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