Do All Animals Sound the Same?




This is Scientific American 60-Second Science. I'm Karen Hopkin. This'll just take a minute.
What do a whale and a frog have in common?
According to a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, pound for pound, they sound the same.
Sounds fishy?
I mean, if you've ever heard the eerie song of the humpback whale (hale song),
you know that it don't sound like no spring peeper (frog sound).
But scientists at the University of Florida Health Science Center have compared the calls made by 500 different animals, from crickets (sound) to crocodiles (sound), and ostriches (sound) to chimps (sound).
And they find that the basic features of every animal's cry, such as frequency and duration, depend on the creature's metabolism.
Which, in turn, depends on the animal's body size and temperature.
And when the calls are adjusted to account for differences in body size and temperature, a whale sounds a lot like a frog (Adjusted whale song).
And vice versa for a whale-sized frog (adjusted peeper calls).
They think there's a metabolic link, because energy use affects the nerves and muscles that animals use to sound off.
Course we still don't know what they're saying.
And I'm not getting close enough to ask.
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American 60-Second Science. I'm Karen Hopkin.