I was looking for a synonym for ‘mooing’ the other day and came across Wikipedia’s list of animal sounds. It was revelatory. For instance, did you know that cows do more than moo? They also low and bellow, while their calves bawl.
Cats are known to mew, purr, meow, hiss, yowl, screech, and caterwaul. Chickens cluck, cackle, bock, chirp, crow, screech, peep, and cockadoodledoo. Dogs bark, woof, arf, bay, bow-wow, howl, and yap. Rabbits squeak, drum, and growl when cornered.
So much for fairly domesticated animals.
The wilder ones make specific sounds too. Coyotes yelp, cry, and snarl. Crows caw. Dingos bark and cry. Elephants trumpet, roar, moan, and rumble . . . although not all at once. Monkeys chatter, gecker, gibber, whoop, and screech. Narwhals squeal. And orangutans groan, grunt, smooch, wheeze, chirp, squeal, and sputter.
All of which is to suggest that humans have an amazingly broad spectrum of sounds that cross both domestic and wild life communications. Think of this the next time you hiss, screech, growl, roar, or grunt.