Bats Use Death Metal ‘Growls’ To Make Social Calls
What do death metal vocalists and bats have in common? Both use their ventricle folds, or “false vocal cords,” to extend their vocal ranges to hit a lower register.
This gives bats a huge vocal range—seven full octaves. Humans typically tap out at about three to four octaves. Even people with really impressive vocal ranges, like Mariah Carey, just can’t compete with a bat.
Contact grunt call of Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii). First real-time, followed by played back slowed down 50x and 100x.
A study recently published in the academic journal PLOS Biology examines how and why different anatomical structures might help bats achieve such extreme frequency range.
Ira talks with one of the study’s authors, Coen Elemans, a professor in bioacoustics and animal behavior at the University of Southern Denmark based in Odense, Denmark.
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Coen Elemans is a professor in Bioacoustics and Animal behavior at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, Denmark.
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Shoshannah Buxbaum is a producer for Science Friday. She’s particularly drawn to stories about health, psychology, and the environment. She’s a proud New Jersey native and will happily share her opinions on why the state is deserving of a little more love.
Ira Flatow is the host and executive producer of Science Friday. His green thumb has revived many an office plant at death’s door.