Soundbites is a (hopefully) weekly feature of the coolest, newest bioacoustics, soundscape, and acoustic research, in bite-size form. Plus other cool stuff having to do with sound. Because I’ve been traveling, it’s taken a short hiatus, but that only means I’ve got even more awesome research to share!
Spring peepers change their calls in response to noise: I’ll get this one out of the way first because it’s relevant to my research. A congeneric of my study species is showing vocal plasticity! This is awesome! However, the lab that did this didn’t use anthropogenic noise, but focused on chorus frequency bands. Still, exciting stuff in the world of frog communication!
Anthropogenic noise affects development of embryonic sea hares: sea hares are marine invertebrates kind of like sea cucumbers. This study shows that with playback of anthropogenic noise, they develop less successfully and mortality is increased. It just goes to show that even non-acoustic species are affected by noisy situations.
Icebergs are NOISY, man: here at ORCAA we talk a lot about the biotic and anthropogenic additions to the soundscape, but we can’t neglect the abiotic additions from things like icebergs. Also, this has to do with Antarctica and Michelle is going there in a few months, so I had to post it! The breakup of substantial icebergs is enough to increase ocean noise levels in mid-to-equatorial regions (really far away) for a year and a half. Dang.
Anthropogenic noise causes different anti-predator responses in two sympatric fish: I wasn’t going to post this one, but then I saw that they were testing the response to a visual cue and that was what had changed and it got me thinking. It seems that the fish that changed its response (the stickleback) is made considerably more vigilant by the presence of noise and therefore responds more quickly, while the minnow doesn’t respond at all. Since the fish are preyed upon by the same predators, this has some interesting community-wide implications. Very cool stuff.
Fun Link of the Week: hey everyone, it’s Shark Week! But unfortunately certain channels seem to have forsaken scientific information on sharks in favor of increasing their ratings. So here’s a reputable source of shark information talking about sharks making sounds (spoiler alert: they don’t, really)! If you want more awesome shark science that is grounded in fact, take a look at this YouTube playlist here.
I’ll be back in Corvallis next week, and Soundbites will resume its sort-of-normal schedule!