Secrets to Elephants’ Thundering Calls Discovered
by Stephanie Pappas
Elephants’ deepest calls can thunder up to 6 miles (10 kilometers) away. Now, researchers have learned for the first time how the massive animals produce these sounds.
It turns out that they do it in the same way that humans talk, pushing air through their vocal cords to make them vibrate. Elephants can go much lower than humans, however, because their vocal cords are eight times longer.
“The sounds the elephants make are off the piano keyboard,” said study researcher Christian Herbst, a voice scientist at the University of Vienna, Austria. In fact, at less than 20 hertz in frequency, the main components of these ultra-deep calls aren’t detectable to the human ear…
(read more: Live Science) (photo: Angela Stoeger)