Rumble in the jungle! Elephants "sing" like humans but at
a frequency so low we can't hear them, scientists have claimed.
Researchers have found that
elephants use an ultrasound rumble, often too low for humans to
hear, to keep the herd together and for males to find mates. It
allows the animals to communicate over distances of up to six
The low-pitched elephant calls,
occupying a frequency range below 20 Hertz, may seem to have little
in common with human singing.
But researchers have confirmed that both are produced in exactly the
same way, the Daily Mail reported. Experts had wondered whether,
like a cat's purr, elephant infrasound was generated by muscular
'twitching' movements of the vocal cords. This mechanism can produce
'arbitrarily low' frequencies, scientists said.
Instead, it turns out the elephant
sounds are made purely by air being blown through the larynx, or
voice box, as in the case of a human singer. The German team carried
out laboratory tests on a larynx removed from a dead elephant.