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Jurassic katydid sounds that met dinosaur ears
From: Ben Creisler
If you want to imagine what a Jurassic dinosaur might have heard, this
article and the news stories may be of interest.
Jun-Jie Gua,Fernando Montealegre-Z,Daniel Robert, Michael S. Engela,
Ge-Xia Qiaod, and
Dong Rena (2012)
Wing stridulation in a Jurassic katydid (Insecta, Orthoptera) produced
low-pitched musical calls to attract females.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (advance online publication)
PDF is Open Access!
Behaviors are challenging to reconstruct for extinct species,
particularly the nature and origins of acoustic communication. Here we
unravel the song of Archaboilus musicus Gu, Engel and Ren sp. nov., a
165 million year old stridulating katydid. From the exceptionally
preserved morphology of its stridulatory apparatus in the forewings
and phylogenetic comparison with extant species, we reveal that A.
musicus radiated pure-tone (musical) songs using a resonant mechanism
tuned at a frequency of 6.4 kHz. Contrary to previous scenarios,
musical songs were an early innovation, preceding the broad-bandwidth
songs of extant katydids. Providing an accurate insight into
paleoacoustic ecology, the low-frequency musical song of A. musicus
was well-adapted to communication in the lightly cluttered environment
of the mid-Jurassic forest produced by coniferous trees and giant
ferns, suggesting that reptilian, amphibian, and mammalian
insectivores could have also heard A. musicus' song.
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