Friday, September 30, 2011

Mice Sing, Truly.

Sometimes I wish I could speak other languages. I don’t mean other people’s languages. I’d love to speak whale, dolphin, bat and now, mouse. We have all heard mice squeaking, but it turns out they can also sing ultrasonic songs that sound just like bird songs. These songs play the same role serenades play for people, but people cannot heard them with plain ears, some techno-tweaking is necessary. Male mice sing when a female is close by, and she listens. The scientists that discovered this were not looking for it. Plain luck and paying attention to the experimental results led them to their discovery. Pasteur said it, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”
Animal communication using sound, scent, and visual clues is obvious in some instances, but quite subtle on many occasions. I just wonder, what are they saying? In “Secret of the Singing Mice,” I put together five fascinating studies about animal communication. Besides the singing mice, check out why baby bats babble, what’s the point of ground squirrel’s whispers, how in the world does the star nosed mole sniff underwater, and the aromatic degu’s double-take secret. I love discovering animal secrets. They bring me closer to the animal world. Check what secrets I have found.
This post is part of S.T.E.M. Friday today. Check the other posts here.
"Secret of the Singing Mice...and More", Ana María Rodríguez, 2009, Enslow Publishers, ISBN 978-0-7660-2956-9


  1. I've wondered the same thing about "animalspeak" in general. Our white German shepherd is "speaking" more and more the older he gets. His intonation is improving all the time and he actually "mouths" his utterings as if he's trying to "get it right." They say that some animals are able to see visual images of what their owners are thinking. This entire field of animal communication is absolutely fascinating, and I'm definitely going to check out Secret of the Singing Mice. Love your blog and I'll be back!

  2. This looks like a neat book. I just learned today that chickens "purr".

  3. Hello, Sue, and thank you for your comment. Isn't nature fascinating?

  4. That's so interesting, Sandy! Who knows how much we are missing because we don't speak the language. Thank you for following!