HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Birdsong sounds sweeter because throats filter out messy overtones

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The purity of birdsong is owed in large part to rapid, controlled changes in the shape of the birds' upper vocal tracts, according to a new study of Northern Cardinals by scientists at Indiana University Bloomington, Purdue University and Australian National University. Their report will appear in next week's (April 4) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"We show that songbirds adjust the size and shape of their vocal tract to 'fit' the changing frequency of their song," IU neurobiologist Roderick Suthers said. "This enables the bird to produce a more whistle-like, pure-tone song."

The finding supports a growing consensus that birds and humans make sound in much the same way -- although it is presumed these processes evolved independently of each other in birds and hominids. In 2004, Suthers reported in the journal Current Biology that monk parakeets use their tongues to shape sound. Other studies have implicated beaks, especially beak gape, in shaping the sound that birds produce. Similarly, humans move their tongues, alter the shape of their upper vocal tracts, and change the shape of their mouths when they sing, laugh, talk and groan.

"The bird's vocal tract, like the human vocal tract in speech, acts as a resonance filter that can control the sound coming from the mouth," Suthers said. "Beak movements during song also contribute to this filter, but are not as important as changes in the size of the internal vocal tract. Human sopranos use the same technique as the cardinal to increase the loudness of very high notes so they can be heard above the orchestra."

That birds' throats vibrate when they sing will come as no surprise to birdwatchers. The effect of these oscillations on the birds' sound production, however, was unknown.

The acoustics of sound-making are complicated. Most tones produced in nature are accompanied by a complex series of higher-pitched, quieter tones called overton
'"/>

Contact: David Bricker
brickerd@indiana.edu
812-856-9035
Indiana University
3-Apr-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Moths mimic sounds to survive
2. Whale bubble nets, saxophone sounds, ultrasonic laser
3. Ultrasounds show mothers drinking shrinks fetal brain
4. Devices tease out individual sounds from underwater racket
5. Research tracks whales by listening to sounds
6. How fish hear and make sounds at same time
7. Elephants imitate sounds as a form of social communication
8. Baby songbirds and human infants learn sounds in similar ways
9. More species in the tropics because species have been there longer
10. Why is the helix such a popular shape? Perhaps because they are natures space savers
11. The greenbeards have blue throats in a breakthrough study of the evolution of altruistic behavior

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/5/2019)... ... April 04, 2019 , ... PI’s ... providing 0.05 microns and 0.005 microns resolution, respectively. The new design allows for ... available, from fast DC-servo motors with linear encoders and low-friction ball-screws to simple ...
(Date:4/4/2019)... ... 2019 , ... The live session taking place ... connectivity between product risk management (ISO 14971) and the clinical risk management process ... With increasing global regulation and reimbursement challenges faced by medical device companies, it ...
(Date:4/1/2019)... ... April 01, 2019 , ... uBiome announces ... Related Conditions” by the US Patent and Trademark Office on January 1, 2019 ... by uBiome collaborators Dr. Zachary Apte, Dr. Daniel Almonacid, Dr. Jessica Richman, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/9/2019)... ... April 09, 2019 , ... USDM Life ... of life sciences organizations to accelerate innovation and maximize productivity, announces that nearly ... past 12 months. , USDM’s Cloud Assurance is a managed subscription ...
(Date:4/8/2019)... ... April 09, 2019 , ... To ... research center Chan Zuckerberg Biohub (CZ Biohub) has chosen Geneious Biologics to help ... part of CZ Biohub’s efforts to establish new approaches to inform the discovery ...
(Date:3/27/2019)... DIEGO (PRWEB) , ... March 27, 2019 , ... In ... to raise awareness on the importance of healthy meals and good nutrition. This ... as the Food Bank’s volunteer chef. , The first segment addressed the ...
(Date:3/19/2019)... ... March 19, 2019 , ... Cirrascale Cloud Services ®, ... extended its managed services offering to include NVIDIA® DGX™ systems. The company will ... the NVIDIA DGX-Ready Data Center program to deliver a Zero DevOps offering to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: