Rodents sing songs, and now researchers know how they do it.
(Mirror Daily, United States) Researchers account for the tendency of rodents to sing songs similar to the sounds of a jet engine. They state that mice behave like this when they want to mate or to defend their territory. Their ultrasonic songs have recently been investigated by specialists, who observed how the noises are produced.
The scientists observed how rodents make those unusual sounds by using extremely accurate videos. Initially, it was believed that the tiny animals used vibrations of their vocal folds. However, the recent research shows that this is not true. What the mice do when singing their particular songs is using their windpipes. They create an air jet which helps them produce the sounds, and the procedure is quite similar to that of jet engines.
There is an extremely important feature of the mice songs. They have a very high frequency, and they can’t be perceived by the human ear. However, researchers are aware of the sounds. What they didn’t know was how the rodents sang those songs.
The recent discovery is highly important as it accounts for the way in which rodents sing songs. The findings deny previous theories of the animals using their vocal cords. The videos used for the research show how the vocal cords are still in the process of producing the high-pitch sounds.
The new study showing how rodents sing songs was conducted by researchers in Denmark. The team was led by specialist Coen Elemans. Anurag Agarwal is one of the researchers involved in the study. He talked about the mechanism that mice use in order to produce their songs:
“Interestingly, this mechanism is known only to produce sound in supersonic-flow applications, such as vertical takeoff and landing with jet engines, or high-speed subsonic flows, such as jets for rapid cooling of electrical components and turbines. Mice seem to be doing something very complicated and clever to make ultrasound.”
The discovery of the mechanism is part of a wider study. The researchers are interested in the link between how sounds are produced and brain development. They hope to find a way to cure diseases such as stuttering and autism. In order to do so, more information on genetics, neurology, and communication mechanisms are required.
The study led by researcher Elemans was published in Current Biology, earlier this week .
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