Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World's most extreme hearing animal: The greater wax moth

Date:
May 8, 2013
Source:
University of Strathclyde
Summary:
Researchers have discovered that the greater wax moth is capable of sensing sound frequencies of up to 300 kHz -- the highest recorded frequency sensitivity of any animal in the natural world.

The greater wax moth.
Credit: Copyright Ian Kimber

Researchers at the University of Strathclyde have discovered that the greater wax moth is capable of sensing sound frequencies of up to 300 kHz – the highest recorded frequency sensitivity of any animal in the natural world.

Related Articles


Humans are only capable of hearing sounds of 20kHz maximum, dropping to around 12-15 kHz as we age, and even dolphins, known exponents of ultrasound, can’t compete as their limitations are around 160 kHz.

The research, conducted at the University’s Centre for Ultrasonic Engineering, has identified the extraordinary sensory characteristics of the moth, paving the way for developments in air-couple ultrasound.

Dr James Windmill, who has led the research at Strathclyde, said: “We are extremely surprised to find that the moth is capable of hearing sound frequencies at this level and we hope to use the findings to better understand air-coupled ultrasound.”

“The use of ultrasound in air is extremely difficult as such high frequency signals are quickly weakened in air. Other animals such as bats are known to use ultrasound to communicate and now it is clear that moths are capable of even more advanced use of sound.

“It’s not entirely clear how the moths have developed to be able to hear at such a high frequency, but it is possible that they have had to improve the communication between each other to avoid capture from their natural predator – the bat – which use similar sounds.”

The research findings will allow the Dr Windmill and his colleagues to further develop their understanding of ultrasound and how to transmit and receive ultrasonic pulses travelling in air.

With frequency sensitivity that is unparalleled in the animal kingdom, this moth is ready for any echolocation call adaptations made by the bat in the on-going bat–moth evolutionary war.

Dr Windmill’s multi-disciplinary research team is now working to apply the biological study of this, and other insect ears to the design of micro-scale acoustic systems. It is hoped that by studying the unprecedented capabilities of the moth’s ear, the team can produce new technological innovations, such as miniature microphones.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Strathclyde. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H. M. Moir, J. C. Jackson, J. F. C. Windmill. Extremely high frequency sensitivity in a 'simple' ear. Biology Letters, 2013; 9 (4): 20130241 DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0241

Cite This Page:

University of Strathclyde. "World's most extreme hearing animal: The greater wax moth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508092830.htm>.
University of Strathclyde. (2013, May 8). World's most extreme hearing animal: The greater wax moth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508092830.htm
University of Strathclyde. "World's most extreme hearing animal: The greater wax moth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508092830.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins