(Courtesy of Public Library of Science)
Scientists have discovered that mice sing, but they don't know what they're singing about. No one can hear mice because they sing at a pitch that is above the human hearing range. Researchers found that individual mice have distinct songs and when the pitch was lowered, they sound much like birds chirping. This week we end with an interesting Earth Ear.
[MOUSE CHIRPING: “Ultra Sonic Songs of Male Mice” from Washington School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri (PLOS Biology)]
GELLERMAN: We leave you this week with a love song.
GELLERMAN: That’s the slowed-down call of a male mouse who’s just caught wind of a female.
Biologists have long known about mouse music, but recently researchers at the University of Washington in St. Louis discovered that the tunes follow a pattern of repeating syllables, much like bird songs.
The researchers think males use these songs to attract mates during courtship. If they’re right, mice would join whales, bats, and humans as the only mammals known to serenade the objects of their desire.
GELLERMAN: Doesn't exactly turn you on? Well, using a sophisticated digital decoding device, we've been able to fine tune the frequency, and discovered what the male mice were actually singing:
[MOUSE SOUNDS CROSSFADE TO BETA BAND SONG: She’s the one for me…She’s the one for me….She’s the one for me…]
[MUSIC: The Beta Band “She’s The One For Me” from ‘The Three EPs’ (Astralwerks – 1999)]
GELLERMAN: We’ll let the intelligent design folks figure that one out.
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Newsletter [Click here]
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth