Scientists from the University of Southern Denmark, led by Professor Cohen Elemans from the Department of Biology, have for the first time filmed what happens in the larynx of a bat when it makes a sound.
This is reported by Eurekalert.
Researchers have learned that for some sounds, bats use the same technique as death metal singers and Tuvan throat singers. What exactly happens in the larynx of these animals can be seen here.
"We determined for the first time which physical structures inside the larynx oscillate to make different vocalizations. For example, bats can make low-frequency sounds using so-called ʼfalse vocal cordsʼ — like death metal singers do," noted study leader Cohen Elemans.
The so-called false vocal cords are folds located below the main vocal cords in the larynx. They are not involved in normal human speech and song. Only death metal growlers and singers of several cultures around the world use fake vocal chords like bats. A person "moves" the vocal folds down so that they vibrate with the vocal cords.
"This makes the vocal folds heavy, so they vibrate at very low frequencies," explained Jonas Håkansson, one of the authors of the study.
Researchers donʼt know for sure what the bats are trying to communicate with these sounds.
According to scientists, the normal range of a batʼs voice covers 7 octaves.
"This is great. Most mammals have a range of 3-4 octaves, and humans — about three. Some singers can reach the range of 4-5, but there are very few of them. Well-known examples are Mariah Carey, Axl Rose and Prince. It turns out that bats exceed this range by using different structures in their larynx," noted Professor Cohen Elemans.