Vocal Mimicry

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Vocal mimicry in bigfoot has been talked about among researchers. However it is difficult enough to recognize a bigfoot sound let alone a bigfoot imitating birds or other animals.

Mimic is described by Wikipedia as:

“….any species that has evolved to appear similar to another successful species in order to dupe predators into avoiding the mimic, or dupe prey into approaching the mimic.”

“….a mimic doesn’t try to blend with the surroundings, but to appear as some other creature.”

Sound mimicry has been described in many birds, marine mammals as well as primates, humans, cetaceans, seals and birds. Especially in birds is mimicry well known and accepted. Mockingbirds, catbirds, and various other birds do some really great imitation calls. I have seen a blue jay give a perfect red-tailed hawk’s call which I wouldn’t have believed if I weren’t watching it just ten feet away.

There is a great amount of scientific literature available that deals with all aspects of vocal mimicry, the great apes and human speech:

The Life of Mammals, Vol. 4 DVD
David Attenborough
..”only feet from an orangutan .. discussed the intelligence and mimicry abilities of these great apes. “…”and mimicry are all primate traits according to Attenborough. ”

The evolution of speech: a comparative review.
Trends in cognitive sciences, 4(7):258–267.

Fitch, W. T. (2000)
“At least two changes were necessary prerequisites for modern human speech abilities: (1) modification of vocal tract morphology, and (2) development of vocal imitative ability.”

The Biology and Evolution of Language
Philip Lieberman
Man, New Series, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Sep., 1986), p. 542
“All great apes have large air sacs attached to their larynges, …..”

Humankind Emerging
Bernard G. Campbell
“Vocal mimicry not only makes speech possible, but is used by hunters…”

Social Imitation In Neonatal Monkeys
“Mimicry exists throughout the animal kingdom, but imitation with a purpose–matching one’s behavior to others’ as a form of social learning–has been seen only in great apes.”

The Cognitive Prerequisites for Language
“Vocal mimicry, to say nothing of vocal imitation, seems to play, at most, no more than a very minor role among any species of primate other than humans (Seyfarth and Cheney 1997).”

Although none of the following examples can be proven to be a bigfoot vocalization most occurred in areas that had previous eye-witness bigfoot sightings.

Suspected bigfoot vocalizations:

1 – Barred Owl – I spent the night of 27th of August 2005 near Seneca, Illinois in my van and kept the microphone on the roof. I heard about fifty whistles and then rock knocking. After the barred owl hooting the rock knocking started up again.

2 – Barred Owl and dogs from the Argosy Project – quoting – “The day after the rock clacking incident, I came back to the location alone to leave the Bigfoot more food. It was about 6:45 p.m. and I was finishing packing up my gear at my spotters station when I heard a hoot to the east in the woods. I would call it more like someone doing a bad imitation of a barred owl hoot. It hooted a few more times, and each hoot seemed to be very low to the ground about 250 feet away.”

“Then I heard a dog barking just north of the hooting. The barking didn’t seem very convincing to me. I’ve heard it numerous times before, and the barking sound is always stationary. After a brief pause, whoever was doing the hooting and barking moved closer together. I could hear rustling in the undergrowth as the two individuals met. I’ve never heard of an owl walking to a dog before. Shortly afterward I heard two whoops almost immediately to my left.”

3 – Dog barks – I have a report from Madison County, Illinois from a witness who has had several sightings this summer and fall. He relates that he heard what appeared to be a military type formation moving along the creek behind his house. He described the sounds as being dog-like “but not quite”. The sounds were proceeding forward, being answered left and right as it moved upstream, perhaps following a deer.

4 – Wild Turkey Clucks – On the 12 of April 2005 I went to my local state park. As I was sitting on a log near a large thicket I heard what I thought was wild turkeys clucking. When I turned around to investigate, the sounds stopped and I heard a loud wood knock coming from the top of the hill.

5 – Raccoon – I have a friend that does nighttime recording close to St.Louis, Missouri along the Missouri Bottoms. He has recorded what he describes as raccoon-like sounds but not quite.

6 – Raccoon – I recorded this raccoon-like sound near a feeding station where raccoons are not seen.

7 – Coyote – I recorded an unknown howl this spring in Central Illinois. This has been discussed at the Illinois Howl webpage. It has been labelled as either a coyote or wolf. However I have a Native American friend who reassures me that it is a bigfoot mimicing a coyote. I have reports of the same type of vocalizations being heard by hunters and researchers in Georgia, Oregon and four different locations in Illinois.

8 – Jungle birds – I have a report from Northern Illinois and I myself have heard in Central Illinois in the daytime, during the winter, what can only described as a jungle bird type sound.

What is the purpose of all these suspected vocalizations? Although no one knows for sure I think it is safe to assume that it is a way for an elusive animal to stay hidden and not give away their presence and position whether it be to prey animals or humans.

5 Responses to “Vocal Mimicry”

  1. escAPEe says:

    In some documented cases, such as the Sierra Sounds recordings, these creatures appear to be trying to imitate human speech. One wonders whether they could "parrot" back a word or phrase if they heard it often enough.And if so, for what purpose? Is it harmless, "monkey-see and monkey-do" mimicry? An attempt at communication? Or something more sinister?

  2. Samuel Saladino says:

    8 – Jungle birds – I have a report from Northern Illinois and I myself have heard in Central Illinois in the daytime, during the winter, what can only described as a jungle bird type sound.Stan, what about the possibility of the animal making these sounds being peafowl? Peacocks and peahens sound just like the bird sounds in old Tarzan movies. When I use to fish the Rock River near Rockton, IL a local resident had some and more than once, especially near sundown those sounds would start and send chills up and down my spine.

  3. stan says:

    Sam,You are correct of course. It is not uncommon for farmers in Illinois to raise peafowl. To make a determination of the origin of any sound requires having an audio recording of sufficient quality that can be analyzed by a professional using sound analysis software.

  4. Duke0002 says:

    To me, the most logical use for BR mimicry would be hunting. Drawing food animals into capture distance.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I honestly believe they do a mimicry to prevent being seen or heard. Think about it, this has never been covered by the media at all, and has been tried several times to be proven as a hoax.