Science is making it possible to ‘hear’ nature. It does more talking than we knew

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    • #498989
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 12,208

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/nov/30/science-hear-nature-digital-bioacoustics

      By placing these digital microphones all over Earth, from the depths of the ocean to the Arctic and the Amazon, scientists are discovering the hidden sounds of nature, many of which occur at ultrasonic or infrasonic frequencies, above or below human hearing range. Non-humans are in continuous conversation, much of which the naked human ear cannot hear. But digital bioacoustics helps us hear these sounds, by functioning as a planetary-scale hearing aid and enabling humans to record nature’s sounds beyond the limits of our sensory capacities. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), researchers are now decoding complex communication in other species.

      As scientists eavesdrop on nature, they are learning some astonishing things. Many species that we once thought to be mute actually make noise – lots of it, in some cases. For example, research by Camila Ferrara at Brazil’s Wildlife Conservation Society has demonstrated that Amazonian sea turtles make more than 200 distinct sounds. Ferrara’s research showed that turtle hatchlings even make sounds while still in their eggs, before they hatch, to coordinate the moment of their birth. Ferrara’s acoustic research also revealed that mother turtles wait nearby in the river, calling to their babies to guide them to safety, away from predators: the first scientific evidence of parental care in turtles, which were previously thought to simply abandon their eggs.

      Scientists are also learning that vocally active species – like bats – make sounds which contain much more complex information than previously thought. Bat echolocation, for example, was discovered nearly a century ago. But only recently have researchers begun deciphering the sounds that bats make for other purposes. By recording many hours of bat vocalizations and decoding them using AI algorithms, scientists have revealed that bats remember favors and hold grudges; socially distance and go quiet when ill; and use vocal labels that reveal individual and kin identity. Male bats learn territorial songs in specific dialects from their fathers and, much like birds, sing these songs to defend territory and attract mates, which scientists characterize as culture.

      Acoustic tuning is also widespread in nature. Coral and fish larvae find their way back home by imprinting on the unique sounds made by the reef where they were born. Moths have developed echolocation-jamming capabilities to hide themselves from bat sonar. Flowers and vines have evolved leaves to reflect echolocation back to bats, as if they were luring their pollinators with a bright acoustic flashlight. In response to the buzz of bees, flowers flood themselves with nectar. Plants respond to some sound frequencies by growing faster; and some species – including tomatoes, tobacco and corn seedlings – even make noise, although well above our hearing range.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #498992
      Mr. Mickeys Mom
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 8,339

      and the wide web of fungi, roots and all things underground, including mother trees feeding young saplings… Smithsonian Magazine has something on that…

      Do Trees Talk to Each Other?

      Hell, no... I'm not giving up...

      • #499017
        djean111
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        • Total Posts: 9,081

        Hopefully the trees will be here long after we have gone, and fully recovered.  We are lucky there are no Ents.

        Walking barefoot in the grass, surrounded by trees, is supposed to make one blissfully peaceful, or some degree of that.

        America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)

        "Sometimes when I try to understand a person's motives, I play a little game. I assume the worst. What's the worst reason they could possibly have for saying what they say and doing what they do? Then I ask myself, 'How well does that reason explain what they say and what they do?'" Baelish

        VFTBNMW is, IMO, literally "take the blue pill".

        • #499025
          Utopian Leftist
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 1,209

          Yes, “Earthing” feels wonderful. But be careful: there are parts of the country where it is okay to walk barefoot and other parts of the country where doing that will get you ringworm. I grew up in Florida and was told it was not safe to walk barefoot in the grass, and that was in the 70’s.

          “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~ Krishnamurti
          "Given the choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, the voter will choose a Republican every time." ~ Harry Truman

          • #499027
            djean111
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            • Total Posts: 9,081

            Just the fire ants make it scary.  Forgot about ringworm.

            America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)

            "Sometimes when I try to understand a person's motives, I play a little game. I assume the worst. What's the worst reason they could possibly have for saying what they say and doing what they do? Then I ask myself, 'How well does that reason explain what they say and what they do?'" Baelish

            VFTBNMW is, IMO, literally "take the blue pill".

      • #499039
        Haikugal
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 2,393

        I suspect you know this…we are ALL in communication all the time! Thanks for this!

        "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has." — Margaret Mead

    • #499015
      Scott Crowder
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      • Total Posts: 973

      Thanks

      "The possessions of the rich are stolen property." Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
      “The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.” Edward Dowling
      "The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich." John Berger

    • #499018
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 25,301

      Because I loved turtles, of course. Even had a pet desert tortoise named Scaly(yeah well, I was 8) who hung around for years.

      So turtles talk. I’ve missed these articles of yours, Eridani.

      Never let your morals stop you from doing the right thing.--Isaac Asimov

      The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.--Julius Nyerere

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