When an animal such as a squirrel or chipmunk is holding objects in its cheek pouches, does it effect the animal's ability to vocalize normally? Do such obstructions prevent vocalization entirely? Do they change the sounds the animal normally makes?

  • 1
    I tried to find literature on the subject when you first posted, but the best I could find was a disturbing experiment where they used food to bait and catch chipmunks, then released them at different distances from their burrows and chased them to see how much they vocalized. Aside from a laugh imagining how funny the grad students looked chasing pissed off chipmunks around in the woods, I mostly felt sorry for the chipmunks. – Jon Custer Nov 5 '20 at 0:08
  • They didn't publish their results? Or the results were that they did not vocalize? – ruffdove Nov 5 '20 at 0:13
  • Oh, results were published, but it was clear that there was no food left in their cheeks upon release. If I recall properly they vocalized more the closer they were released to their burrow (which makes sense to me - if you know you are close to safety you can be pretty sassy). – Jon Custer Nov 5 '20 at 0:16
  • Ah, here it is: academic.oup.com/jmammal/article/83/2/546/2373322 – Jon Custer Nov 5 '20 at 21:39
  • I puffed up my cheeks with air and tried to vocalize. I could, but it was a just a weak sqeak from my throat. I didn't try it while running to my burrow.. – ab2 Nov 5 '20 at 22:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.