February 21st, 2015
Most of you will probably have seen it by now, as this video of “the world’s cutest frog” has had about 18 million hits on Youtube. This Namaqua Rain Frog (Breviceps namaquensis) produces a sqeaky toy sound when it feels threatened. Here’s a list of some other extraordinary animal vocalists:
1. The Superb Lyrebird
The sound this Superb Lyrebird makes is less funny as it is astounding. Some of you might have seen David Attenborough’s Life of Birds, in which he is on a quest to find this amazing species. The Superb Lyrebird is able to perfectly mimic the calls of other birds – and pretty much every other sound in the world. In this video by Adelaide Zoo, the bird has picked up on some construction work.
2: The Koala
Cute and cuddly as they may seem, male koalas can produce a terribly loud, grumbling bellow when they are ready to mate. Researchers discovered that male koalas are able to make these sounds because they have very long vocal tracts. Thanks to this unusual anatomy, they can make themselves sound far larger than they are – which is helpful while attracting the ladies.
3: The Goat
Less sophisticated than the Superb Lyrebird, and less evolutionary meaningfull than the male koala, but by far the funniest sound is made by the this farm animal. The reason that goats can have such a unique, distinctive voice might be that it is also affected by the goats environment, not just by genetics. Last year, researchers who studied young pygmy goats found that they are able to pick up accents while growing up.
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