Why Wolves Don’t Chirp

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Sounds that animals make can be really different, and it turns out that there’s a reason why some species communicate with certain sounds.

Thanks also to our Patreon patrons and our YouTube members.
To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
frequency – how often a wave occurs in a certain unit of time
Hertz – a unit of frequency (Hz), the number of waves that occus in a second
pitch – a perceptual property of sounds that allows their ordering on a frequency-related scale
echolocation – the location of objects by reflected sound
refraction – the change in direction of a wave
diffraction – the bending of waves around obstacles and the spreading out of waves beyond openings
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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Video Writer, Director, and Narrator: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
Video Illustrator: Arcadi Garcia Rius (@garirius)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Ever Salazar, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg, Julián Gómez, Sarah Berman
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:
Image and sound credits:

Cope’s gray treefrog call
Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior/USGS

Google Earth photos
Credit: Google, Maxar Technologies, Landsat/Copernicus

Bottlenose dolphin whistles
Credit: Centro Inderdisciplinare di Bioacustica e Richerche Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Pavia

Humpback whale call
Credit: NOAA and Northeast Passive Acoustics Research Group

Koala call

Wolf howl sound – OrangeFreeSounds user Alexander

Wolf Howl Sound



Arch, V. A. and P. M. Narins. 2008. “Silent” signals: selective forces acting on ultrasonic communication systems in terrestrial vertebrates. Animal Behaviour 76: 1423–1428.

Bedard Jr. and T. M. Georges. 2000. Atmospheric Infrasound, Physics Today, 53(3): 32-37.

Ladich F. and H. Winkler. 2017. Acoustic communication in terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates,” Journal of Experimental Biology 220: 2306–2317.

Michelsen, A. and O.N. Larsen. 1983. Strategies for acoustic communication in complex environments. In: Neuroethology and Behavioural Physiology (ed Huber, F. and Markl, H.) pp. 321-331 Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Narins, P.M., A.S. Stoeger, and C. O’Connell-Rodwell. 2016. Infrasonic and seismic communication in the vertebrates with special emphasis on the Afrotheria: An update and future directions. In Vertebrate Sound Production and Acoustic Communication (ed. R. A. Suthers, W. T. Fitch, R. R. Fay and A. N. Popper), pp. 191-227. Cham: Springer.

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