Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Wednesday Wildlife - Yelling to each other

Cicadas can be heard from as far away as 400 metres (a quarter of a mile) which isn’t bad for an insect.

A Tiger’s roar can reach as far as 2km (1¼ miles) but the screech of the Howler Monkey goes over twice as far – 5km (3 miles).

Elephants communicate by transmitting vibrations through the earth. They can stamp their messages over distances as far as 32km (20 miles).  I'm only ten miles from Chester Zoo which coukld explain why the house shakes opccasionally.  (Boring people blame it on Tesco's articulated loriries!)

The low frequency sound of the Blue Whale is up to 188 decibels loud (noisier than a jet engine) and can be picked up from as far away as 800km (500 miles) but Fin Whales can chat at 3,000km (2,000 miles) apart.

Assuming there’s a whale or two somewhere out in the Atlantic, how is it I can’t hear any of them?


  1. I know that the question regarding whale sounds and why you can't hear them was most likely rhetorical, but I'll answer anyway :-)
    Two possible reasons (without me having put any research into this): 1. Their medium to transmit soundwaves is water, yours is air. 2. The low frequency noises are so low that they are out of range from what the human ear (or, rather, our brain) can perceive.

    Speaking of communication; my cat has a habit of simply staring me into doing what she wants me to do - no sound necessary! Also, she does silent squeaks sometimes, opening her mouth without actually saying anything; or maybe that's on a frequency I can't hear.

  2. You probably do hear the whales, but you blame the sound on something else...! (sorry, couldn't resist that one...)


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