Friday, June 7, 2013

Bugs Hear Better Than Bats

Here is a great one!  Moths can hear better than the NSA!  That current news about the wiretapping by the US government is disconcerting enough, but it might not just be the ghost of J. Edgar Hoover you need to worry about.  Moths clock in at having the most sensitive hearing for any creature (That I know of) on earth.  I am one for trivia, so this will work well in my lectures.  Use this article for your next current events/science argument with your drinking buddies.

Many moths have evolved sensitive hearing that can pick up the ultrasonic probes of bats that want to eat them. But one species comes pre-adapted for anything that bats might bring to this evolutionary arms race. Even though its ears are extremely simple — a pair of eardrums on its flanks that each vibrate four receptor cells — it can sense frequencies up to 300 kilohertz, well beyond the range of any other animal and higher than any bat can squeak.
“A lot of previous work has suggested that some bats have evolved calls that are out of the hearing range of the moths they are hunting. But this moth can hear the calls of any bat,” says James Windmill, an acoustical engineer at the University of Strathclyde, UK, who discovered the ability in the greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella). Hisstudy is published in Biology Letters.

Thanks SA and Sonoworld
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