Bellowing Koalas Signal Size to Potential
THURSDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The bellowing of male
koalas during mating season is a boast about their size,
They found that the largest koalas produce the deepest baritone
bellows, a message to females and rival males that they're the
biggest dudes in the neighborhood.
The researchers also discovered that koalas are one of the few
animals with a descended larynx, which makes the vocal tract
longer. A longer vocal tract emits deeper sounds. This means that
the longer vocal tracts of the largest koalas produce the lowest
The study appears in the
Journal of Experimental Biology.
The bellowing of koala males may have driven the evolution of
their descended larynxes, according to study author Benjamin
Charlton of the University of Vienna, Austria.
"Individuals that could elongate their vocal tracts by lowering the larynx may have gained advantages during sexual competition by sounding larger, and this would drive the evolution of laryngeal descent," he explained in a journal news release.
The Friends of the Koalas has more about
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