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  1. Whale communication could explain how extreme ultrasonic bushcrickets transfer sound

The outer ears pinnae of mammals which perceive high frequency sound may be quite complex; bat ears are characterized by grooves and channels which help to carry sounds to the typmpanum, as well as maintaining small differences in frequency pitch and amplitude volume which can be used to localize sound sources.

Whale communication could explain how extreme ultrasonic bushcrickets transfer sound

Ultrasonic signals are produced in two contexts. First, in echolocation, an animal generally we think of bats doing this produces high pitched sounds which are reflected off objects in the bats flight path. The use of high pitched sounds ultrasound has several advantages in echolocation. First, the short wavelength of these sounds makes them more likely to bounce back to the bat, rather than bend around the object. This, of course, is essential if echoes are to be used in orientation.

Second, it takes relatively little energy to produce these sounds, and third, they dissiapate rapidly, reducing confusion from "old" sounds that could still be bouncing around an area. The first case involves long-distance, low-frequency sounds used by elephants. The second study focuses on species-specific courtship songs used by finches.


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The third case discusses ultrasound used by bats and their prey, moths. Please see the Terms of Use for information on how this resource can be used. Skip to main content.

Share This. Description This interactive module explores how different animals — elephants, birds, and bats — have evolved distinct ways of using sound to communicate. Student Learning Targets Analyze various communication behaviors by observing videos and images of animals.


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Describe the adaptive advantages of using sound to communicate in different contexts. Details Estimated Time. Explore Related Content. Other Resources About Elephants Showing of.

How is ultrasound useful for animals

Usually, the animals made audible alarm calls, opening their mouths wide and thrusting their bodies forward. But occasionally, a squirrel would do this but make no sound, its open mouth producing only a faint whisper of rushing air. When Wilson and Hare recorded these whispering calls using a bat detector and analysed the frequencies, they found that the calls contained pure ultrasound tones with frequencies of about 48 kilohertz, far too high for people to hear.

And when they broadcast pure tones of this frequency to other ground squirrels, the animals recognised them as a warning and became more vigilant than usual, tilting their heads to listen and look for predators. Ultrasonic alarm calls might be beneficial because many of the birds-of-prey that catch and eat squirrels cannot hear them.

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