Although it is a trendy topic, the bats they are not studied by science only as carriers of diseases. They are also known for making high-pitched sounds that help them navigate while flying in the dark. This is what is known as echolocation and consists of very high frequency sounds. So much so that most of them imperceptible to the human ear. They are necessary for survival, but not for socialization. They do not use them to mate or communicate with other bats. Hence, one would expect them to have another type of sound more specific to it. A group of scientists from University of Southern Denmark wanted to answer that question, so they did a study that concluded that there really was another type of cry, and that it was remarkably similar to the guttural cries of the ancient world’s singers. deadly metal.

In fact, you have completely different structures in your larynx that allow you to produce both types of sound. On the one hand, with his vocal cords They make high-pitched sounds that help them navigate. Instead, they use thick webbed folds called ventricular foldswhich are located just above these.

All this gives them an immense range of sound, from some seven eighths. Considering that other mammals, including humans, do not exceed four octaves at best, it can be said that bats are gifted with singing. Another thing is that they can sing melodies. This, at the moment, seems to be none of his business.

Bats that “sing” deadly metal

To conduct this study, which has just been published in PLOS Biologyits authors recovered the larynx of five adult bats from Daubenton (Myotis daubentonii). Then they passed air through them to mimic the natural sound emission of these animals.

All this was recorded 250 000 frames per secondto later introduce the video to the algorithm artificial intelligence which reconstructs the movement of the vocal membranes without being obscured by other structures. Thus, they saw that air pressure causes self-sustaining vibrations of the vocal membrane at frequencies 10 and 70 kHzWith. Instead, the ventricular folds emitted oscillations whose frequency 1 to 3 kHz. In this case, it would not be useful for echolocation, but it would be useful for communicating with other bats.

Bat of Daubenton. Credit: Jens Rydell

It is interesting. But even more so when you consider that the way they make these membranes vibrate is similar to that used by the singers. deadly metal to make his famous guttural sounds. And they are not the only ones. It’s also like how they emit their curious diphonic chant Performers of traditional music of Central Asia.

In addition, some of the out-of-series belong to our species, such as Freddie Mercury, which was able to simultaneously vibrate the vocal and ventricular cords. This gave rise to his distinctive voice. But this is a very peculiar case. There have been very few singers like Queen in history. Bats, on the other hand, all do it, but obviously it’s not something to compare to.

Source: Hiper Textual

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