All the tactical scariness of a koala fight goes straight out the window once you hear these little fuzzy marsupials making their koala sounds! If you’re like me and don’t typically think of what a koala actually sounds like, this video may surprise you!
If you notice, their calls slightly resemble the belching only large animals like elephants are capable of producing. Well, recently scientists from the University of Sussex discovered that koalas actually have an extra pair of vocal folds that are located outside of their voice box. The specialized sound-producing organ has never before been seen in any other land-dwelling mammal, which made the find incredibly exciting.
‘To our knowledge, the only other example of a specialised sound-producing organ in mammals that is independent of the larynx are the phonic lips that toothed whales use to generate echolocation clicks,’ Dr Benjamin Charlton, who led the research, said.
It’s funny because the koala’s mating call is about 20 times lower in pitch than it should be given its relatively small size. So, in this case, it looks like size doesn’t actually matter… when it comes to making loud noises.
The combination of biological, video and acoustic data collected in the new study represents the first evidence in a terrestrial mammal of an organ other than the larynx that is dedicated to sound production. The scientists now plan on looking more closely at other mammals to find out whether this vocal adaptation is truly unique to koalas.
h/t to article on koala sounds from DailyMail.