Sunday, November 3, 2013

The loudest animals on Earth

The loudest animal(s) on Earth?
In terms of pure power nobody beats the Blue Whale! Its whistles can indeed reach 188 dB!
How big is this number?  Well, just consider that a human whisper at 1 m is about 20 dB, a conversation is 60-70 dB and a Jet Engine is 140 dB.
What is the threshold of pain for a human ear? 120-130 dB! And at 160 dB your eardrum will rupture! The phenomenal blue whale whistles have been recorded more than 500 miles (805 kilometers) away! This is pretty much the distance between San Francisco and San Diego! Amazing!
However the poweful whistle is not the only thing special about the Blue Whale. As I wrote in a previous post, it is also the largest animal that ever lived on Earth! Yes, even larger than the largest dinosaur!

(Photograph by Flip Nicklin, National Geographic)

Another every interesting and loud animal is the Snapping Shrimp.

 (Photograph from WaterFrame/Alamy, National Geografic)

Even though it doesn't sing as the whales do, it is nevertheless responsible for the loudest noise produced by any living being!
This shrimp stuns its preys by shooting jets of water at 62 miles (100 kilometers) an hour! How? By closing its special claws. The high speed water jets form a low-pressure bubble that collapses into a hot, loud mini explosion of, wait-for-it, 200 dB!!! The whole process, which was recorded with the use of high-speed cameras and sound equipment, occurs within 300 microseconds.
No suprises that the explosion kills or at least stun the shrimp's meal!

But it's not over ... yet!  There is another loud animal that is the loudest relative to its body size: the Water Boatman.

(Photograph courtesy Jerome Sueur, MNHN, National Geografic)

It's only 0.07 inch (2 mm) big but its songs peak at 105 dB, as National Geografic unterlines, like a pounding jackhammer! But it's special also for another reason... something that will blow your mind away!
The Water Boatman creates its songs by rubbing his penis against his belly!!!

Another loud animals are...

The greater bulldog bat that exceeds 140 dB (to track the movement of fish in water pools). Humans, however, cannot hear their sounds since they falls in the frequency range from 20 to 200 kHz, outside while the human hearing range is from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

Cicadas are the loudest insect. Only the males sing and they do so to call for a female.
Two species, the green grocer and yellow monday, produce noise in excess of 120dB and can be heard from 2.4 kilometres away.

Coqui frogs are native to the island of Puerto Rico. Their sounds are in the range 90-100 dB. 

The lion's roar can reach 114 dB and carried over 8km.

The howler monkey howls at 90 dB and can be heard up to 5 km away.  Within the same intensity we find the Wolf's howl!

(Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geografic)

Interesting references

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