Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hand Clapping Behavior in Gorillas

It is my opinion that what is commonly referred to as "tree knocking" has a far too restrictive description.  I have been hypothesizing for years that bigfoots may not be actually knocking wood against trees to produce these sounds, or may not be doing so exclusively.  

Since becoming interested in this possibility, I have received several reports of bigfoots clapping.  I recently received another report of a bigfoot slapping its open hand against its thigh to produce a loud popping sound.  I know of a couple reports in which the bigfoot was carrying a stick, thus keeping it possible that they do hit wood against trees at times as well.  

Whatever the case, I will continue to look for this behavioral parallel in the other ape species, including humans.  Below is an interesting article from the BBC about just this sort of behavior in gorillas.  It is interesting to note the mention of bipedalism in the article as well.

Gorilla Mums Keep Family in Check
by Matt Walker

Female gorillas clap their hands to get the attention of male silverbacks and infants.

The discovery in the forests of central Africa is only the second time the behaviour has been recorded in wild western lowland gorillas.

It suggests that the great apes use hand-clapping to communicate over long distances and keep the family group together.

The discovery is published in the journal Primates.

"What struck me most was how it was conducted in such a controlled and deliberate manner while in a bipedal position; much like a human would hand clap," says Ammie Kalan of Oxford Brookes University, in Oxford, UK.

Click here to read the rest of this fascinating article.


  1. Nice post. I am of the Bigfoot is human variant camp, so I don't know it's relevant that a gorilla claps, but then humans do clap, as well, which is to me very relevant. If I were in the woods trying to hide from humans and bears, whatever the threats are, I would consider a sound that can travel and be mistaken as a woodland sound. A clap would be an ideal for that.

  2. I don't recall hand clamping at least not at close range to get my attention....something to keep in mind while in the woods.

  3. This is so neat! When I first read about the possibility of bigfoots clapping, instead of tree knocking, I was blown away. It seems like a more natural thing to do.

  4. The recorded knocks I've heard don't sound like clapping but I don't think a Sasquatch would carry a stick for knocking. How often would one find a convenient good sized piece of wood to make a knocking sound when needed to respond or send out a knock for alerting others? This would lead to the alternative sound made by clapping or some other means. I guess this is an open ended proposition.

  5. Cliff, this is very interesting. It would not be surprising that Bigfoots would have an alarm to alert the others of intruders. It also would indicate that there is more than one in the area if you hear it, awesome!
    When we were kids, my siblings and I had some clapping contests and found that our hands can make louder or softer claps. Some are really sharp and reverberate. I imagine Bigfoots can make even louder claps than we can, thus they sound to us like wood knocks.

  6. Makes sense. If Bigfoot is a hybrid of humans and gorillas the behaviors would also be hybrid. I wonder where the human genome was introduced into the ape population? Tj Johnson, Stark County Ohio

  7. Chimpanzees can make incredibly loud sounds by hitting tree-root buttresses with their hands. Maybe some sasquatches are striking trees with pieces of wood as is most commonly speculated, maybe some are clapping as you suggest, and maybe some are hitting trees with their bare palms.

  8. This idea makes a lot of sense. The knocks I have been hearing over the last couple of months sound always sound similar, but have occurred in the different locations several times now. Squatch using their own hands to produce knocking sounds would explain the consistency of tone.