Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

World’s largest forest birds may produce world’s deepest bird calls

28.10.2003


Cassowaries’ low-frequency sounds may give insight into dinosaur communications



A family of huge forest birds living in the dense jungles of Papua New Guinea emit low-frequency calls deeper than virtually all other bird species, possibly to communicate through thick forest foliage, according to a study published by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society.

Published in the recent issue of the scientific journal The Auk, the study says that three species of cassowaries – flightless birds that can weigh as much as 125 pounds – produce a "booming" call so low that humans may not be able to detect much of the sound. The researchers draw similarities between the birds’ calls and the rumbling elephants make to communicate.


"When close to the bird, these calls can be heard or felt as an unsettling sensation, similar to how observers describe elephant vocalizations," said WCS researcher Dr. Andrew Mack, the lead author of the study.

Known not only for their great size, but also their spectacular, helmet-like bony casques, and blue and red skin around their neck and head, Cassowaries are highly vulnerable to over-hunting and habitat loss. They are also considered among the world’s most dangerous birds, due to their ability to kick when threatened, using a dagger-like spur on their feet with sometimes deadly results.

The authors and their collaborators are now pursuing studies that examine the physics of low frequency sound production and reception. They speculate that the cassowaries’ casque might serve a function in both, most likely sound reception.

"These investigations are exciting because many dinosaur fossils exhibit casques at least superficially similar to those of living cassowaries," said Mack. "No one knows for sure what purpose these served in these dinosaurs, so further study of living cassowaries might provide clues to how dinosaurs communicated."

Coincidentally, the great early 20th Century dinosaur hunter, Barnum Brown, described the Corythosaurus, otherwise known as the Corinthian Helmet Lizard as "cassowary-like.

Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New gene potentially involved in metastasis identified
26.03.2019 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Decoding the genomes of duckweeds: low mutation rates contribute to low genetic diversity
26.03.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New gene potentially involved in metastasis identified

Gene named after Roman goddess Minerva as immune cells get stuck in the fruit fly’s head

Cancers that display a specific combination of sugars, called T-antigen, are more likely to spread through the body and kill a patient. However, what regulates...

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Searching for disappeared anti-matter: A successful start to measurements with Belle II

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Extremely accurate measurements of atom states for quantum computing

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Listening to the quantum vacuum

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>