One significant difference between animals and humans is that animals cannot talk. However, this doesn’t mean the animals don’t communicate. Animals can be heard snapping, roaring, and howling to find food, navigate, and attract mates.
This list includes six animals that are extremely loud. While you may know that a whale can be louder than the sound of a jet engine, others on this list may surprise you.
1. Blue whale
The blue whale, which has already got the title of the world’s largest animal, is also equipped with a deafening cry that goes with its mammoth size. The call of these massive animals can reach up to 188 decibels. When you realise that a jet engine can hit up to 140 decibels, you realise how loud they are.
Blue whales and other North American whales can produce sounds and pulses that can be heard from a thousand miles away. Recently, researchers have found that these animals have been reducing their call frequency over the last few years. This could be attributed to rising water temperature, change in climate, and ocean noise, but research is ongoing to the cause.
2. Snapping shrimp
Mainly found in oyster and coral reefs, pistol shrimps or snapping shrimps can stun their prey by closing shut their two large claws at speeds up to 62 mph. This action leads to the formation of a giant air bubble. The air bubble makes an incredible sound when it pops and can go as high as 200 decibels which are loud enough for stunning or even killing their prey in some cases.
According to zoologists, when their bubble pops, it emits light due to the high pressure and temperature within the bubble. The accumulation of their sound is so common in some parts of the sea that it interferes with underwater research and communication.
3. Bulldog bat
Bats communicate through echolocation, which is very effective over shorter distances. Bulldog bats use echolocation while foraging for food or navigating. In some studies, it is found that bulldog bats can emit sounds up to 137 decibels. This is louder than most rock concerts.
Echolocation uses low-frequency sounds that prevent them from being carried through the air. If you have always considered bats as quiet mammals, these bats will change your mind.
4. Mountain lions
There are only a handful of noises in the woods which can be as petrifying as the cry of a lion. Mountain lions, which are called by various names like catamounts, pumas, or cougars, may appear regal when you watch them on your television screen. But the sounds they emit can send a chill down your spine.
When communicating, mountain lions make very little noise. They mostly sound like oversized house cats if you hear them communicating with one another. But mountain lions can be extremely intimidating if you hear them roar. In a study conducted by PLOS One in 2011, they found that cougars are equipped with flat and square vocal folds as opposed to humans. Because these folds are fat and elastic, it helps them strengthen the sound’s vibrations. The resulting roar can be as loud as 114 decibels.
6. North American Bullfrog
Native to eastern North America, these bullfrogs are the loudest amphibians on the planet, producing sounds of up to 119 decibels. Both males and females can produce low-pitched sounds while the males will croak louder and more frequently to attract their mates. The situation worsens during the mating season when the males form a group and indulge in a pretty deafening chorus.
6. Northern Elephant Seal
The Northern elephant seal is an inhabitant of the eastern zone of the Pacific Ocean, capable of emitting sounds of up to 126 decibels. Their cry is very distinct, and it helps identify the group members. The tone they make is also used for communicating different messages like a mother calling her offspring, mating sounds, or warning the other members of any impending threat.
Elephant seals tend to communicate with each other in several ways. The male members tend to threaten one another through snorting caused when they expel air through the proboscis. The female members emit an unpulsed call to attract the young ones and a pulsed cry when they feel threatened.
If you believe that some people around you are way too noisy, you must consider some of the loudest animals in America. While a typical human voice can reach up to 70 decibels, some members of the animal kingdom can go up to 130 decibels. Any sound over 120 decibels will become painful for the human ears and cause physiological reactions.
Sometimes animals use their cries as a means of mating with their partners or scaring away their rivals. Whatever be the reason, the loud and diverse cries of animals add to the diversity of their kingdom.