08 February 2012

Tarsiers communicate using ultrasound

Marissa Ramsier of Humboldt State University in California and her colleagues were puzzled to sometimes hear no sound when Philippine tarsiers (Tarsius syrichta) opened their mouths as if to call. Placing 35 wild animals in front of an ultrasound detector revealed that what they assumed to be yawns were high-pitched screams beyond the range of human hearing...

Whales, dolphins, domestic cats and some bats and rodents are the only other mammals known to communicate in this way.
New Scientist has more info and a link to the source publication.


  1. Trouble with reading American blogs is I expected that to say tasers. Then there was the awful moment when I wondered who'd be tasering cute things!

  2. For those interested in animal communication in general, and inter-species communication in particular I cannot recommend this radiolab episode strongly enough.

    The story beginning at about the 14:00 mark was especially powerful.


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