Soundbites is a weekly (biweekly, mostly) feature of the coolest, newest bioacoustics, soundscape, and acoustic research, in bite-size form. Plus other cool stuff having to do with sound.
Bioacoustics helps find what may be a new beaked whale species: this one was hard to miss this week, as it was all over the pop press news as well. Here’s the original article. Passive acoustic monitoring in the Antarctic found echolocation and communication signals that were beaked-whale-esque, but unlike species seen before this. It might be a new species!
Cicadas and birds partition acoustic space in the tropics: I think the acoustic niche hypothesis is really neat, and it’s cool to see it in practice. Bird species and cicadas in the tropics vocalize at similar frequencies, so birds avoided calling when cicadas were calling. If they did call during cicada song, birds changed their frequency to avoid overlap.
Fun link of the week: Michelle had an awesome post last week about paleo-bioacoustics (what a field name!), so continuing in that theme, let’s talk about terror birds. Have you guys seen a terror bird skull before? Terrifying. This new research suggests that they had low voices and were better at perceiving low-frequency sounds. This means we’re one step closer to my dream, knowing what dinosaurs actually sounded like…