"Tickled rats emit supersonic chirps. Chimpanzees pant during play. These expressions of animal joy, according to a new study, demonstrate that laughter evolved very early in the mammalian brain. In 2003, Jaak Panksepp of Bowling Green State University, Ohio, reported that rats let out squeaks of joy when tickled by human fingers. The rats not only tried to elicit play sessions, but also began chirping when their handlers wiggled fingers at them. Panksepp likened the response to children who begin giggling even before a tickling finger touches them. The fact that both rats and humans emit sounds of joy, Panksepp reports in the journal Science, suggests the brain circuits involved in laughter are very ancient. The last common ancestor of rats and primates lived about 75 million years ago. Human laughter certainly appears similar to the giggles of romping chimps, who make pant-pant sounds that imitate the heavy breathing of exercise." (California Wild This Week) ABC National Geographic BBC
Animals Get The Giggles Too
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