David Cappaert/Michigan State University

ScienceShot: Female Crickets Hear Everything

Birds and monkeys aren't the only animals that have unique mating calls; crickets also croon when seeking a partner. But in the tiny tree cricket (Oecanthus henryi), males change their rhythm and pitch—from slow and low to fast and high—as the temperature rises. So how does Ms. Tree Cricket find a hubby on a hot day? Using a beam of laser light, researchers looked into female crickets' ears to see their response to a range of frequency levels and tones. Using vibration-analyzing software, the team found that, instead of attuning their ears to track a male's chirrups, which range from 2.5 to 4.5 kHz, the females were listening to everything from 0.5 to 20 kHz. That helps them keep track of potential mates, no matter how high the mercury rises.

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Posted in Plants & Animals