Orang-utans blow raspberries too

WildManOfTheJungleIf you thought that humans were the only animal proficient at blowing a raspberry (a.k.a. voiceless exolabio-lingual trilling*1) think again. Orang-utans, for example*2can and do blow them, usually when nesting [for reasons as yet unclear to us]. If you would like to hear an orang-utan blowing a raspberry, you’re in luck – the authors of a 2012 PloS ONE paper provide a recording of one (of the 35 which they transcribed in Sumatra and Borneo). [.wav format].

As featured in: Call Cultures in Orang-Utans? Wich SA, Krützen M, Lameira AR, Nater A, Arora N, Bastian ML, et al. PLoS ONE 7(5): e36180


1.  Although the raspberry has been classified (Pike, Kenneth L. (1943). Phonetics: A Critical Analysis of Phonetic Theory and a Technique for the Practical Description of Sounds) as a ‘voiceless exolabio-lingual trill’, implying the use of the tongue, Improbable suggests or contends or possibly even asserts that it’s quite easy to blow one without the use of one’s tongue. Discuss.

2. Raspberry-blowing species include humans, chimpanzees and walruses – you may know of others, in which case you can keep it to yourself, or alternatively, why not let our readers know by commenting below?

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