Stories tagged mating calls

May
14
2008

Sing me a song oh pianofrog: Researchers are finding the a species of frogs in China sing mating songs as duets at ultrasonic frequencies.
Sing me a song oh pianofrog: Researchers are finding the a species of frogs in China sing mating songs as duets at ultrasonic frequencies.Courtesy carf
Keep your American Idol. I’ll settle to listening to Frog Idol.

Researchers in China have found that frogs in the wild there communicate with each other in a duet of musical tones made at ultrasonic frequencies that are beyond the hearing range of humans.

Specifically, they’ve recorded the mating calls between females and males. How’s this for setting the mood, the researchers found the romantic duets could most often be heard on rainy nights.

After recording the female portion of the duet, the researchers played back that recording to males kept in captivity. They responded by adding the male response – sort of a frog version of a duet between Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond. The males also began leaping toward the source of the female songs.

Why is this so cool to know, besides prying into the romantic ways of Chinese frogs? It’s further proof that some animals have been able to adapt their hearing range to live successfully in their environment.

Being able to communicate at ultrasonic levels gives frogs a way to hear each other of the lower frequency noise caused by rushing river waters in their habit.

And just like human singers, the female frogs sing their portion of the duet at a higher frequency than the male frogs.

But the real lessons from these frogs may be applied in improving hearing aid technology. That’s the main purpose behind these researchers’ work.

Now if Budweiser could get its frogs to sing at ultrasonic frequencies, maybe it could sell even more beer!