What happens if you tickle a tiger?

Answer by Kaushik Parashar:

Most probably, the tiger will laugh. Well, not the technical 'laughter', but possibly a positive vocalization or an expression of joy.

In an attempt to understand the origins of laughter, Dr. Marina Davila-Ross and her team has been studying tickling in a lot of animals lately. They have studied positive vocalizations in primates and based on their study[1], they have concluded that laughter is at least 30 to 60 million years old. Earlier in 2003, Panksepp and Burgdorf [2] found that rats laugh when tickled and they enjoy getting tickled. That opens up a huge range of animals who may laugh when tickled. So now the team is gathering and comparing tickle laughter in as many animals as possible.

As for the tiger, I am not sure if they have a tiger laughter video yet. But looking at this lion,

and its cousin cats, it seems likely they would laugh.

Moreover, when this camel,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hZPSyCXDjdc

the slow loris,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ5ACLVjYwM

an owl,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ajc6xr6mNeY

a koala,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8KW3E9uikgI

and now even the toad
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=00jrXRMlZOYare laughing, don't you think an animal in a striped coat could laugh?

So in case you are able to make a tiger to laugh, you may contact laughter@port.ac.uk and help contribute in the research. (Laughter | Psychology | University of Portsmouth)

[1]Reconstructing the Evolution of Laughter in Great Apes and Humans
[2]"Laughing" rats and the evolutionary anteceden… [Physiol Behav. 2003]

Disclaimer: This answer in no way encourages the reader to go tickle a tiger.

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