By April Overall
For decades, we’ve witnessed girls swooning (and sometimes fainting!) when their favourite crooners have grabbed the mic. In the animal kingdom, males clear their throats and belt out mating calls to potential mates – letting the ladies know who is the strongest, most compatible mate.
If your pipes are half as good as the Humpback Whale, you’re one lucky guy. Male Humpbacks serenade females with songs that can last for hours. In fact, one composition can last more than 10 minutes! Researchers believe the volume, length and intricacy of its songs can indicate the male’s fitness. The louder, longer and more complicated the song, the more likely a female will be to pay attention.
Did you know that the way to a male cicada’s heart is through his stomach? Males generate their piercing mating calls via vibrating membranes on their abdomens. The sound is equivalent to the racket a chainsaw makes at 120 decibels.
Researchers at Duke University have found that when male mice are on the single scene and looking for a new mate, they belt out complex songs to impress the ladies. It often does the trick! When they meet up with the female in the flesh, male mice change their tune to longer, quieter melodies. Listen to their ditties here.
In early spring, male Spring Peepers gather near wetlands and use their pipes to attract mates. While these frogs might be small in stature, they can make quite a racket. The louder they call, the more likely they’ll attract a mate. Each frog makes approximately 20 peeps per minute. Some of them even work together, singing in chorus – the baritone of the crew kicking the song off.
The bzzzzzzz you hear as a mosquito passes by you might unnerve you but to a female mosquito it’s music to her ears. Females perk up their hearing when males pass them by because males will change their tone to compliment her own. On the flip side, other females will have a very different tone. When they hear a tone similar to their own, they know romance is on the horizon.
North American Bison
From July to September, male North American Bison seek out females to mate with. While a dominant male protects the females he intends to mate with that season, other males will challenge him to fight by calling out, or “bull roaring”. These calls can be heard kilometres away and at all hours until mating season is over.