Monday, 11 July 2011

And the loudest animal in the world is...erm..the water boatman

Scientists have found that the water boatman Micronecta scholtzi produces more noise than any other animal relative to its body size. The creatures, which are around three quarters of an inch in size and swim upside down using two long legs like oar paddles, produce 99.2 decibels of noise – the equivalent of listening to an orchestra play loudly from the front row.

Dr James Windmill, from the University of Strathclyde, said the sound was within the human hearing range.

He said: "Remarkably, even though 99% of sound is lost when transferring from water to air, the song is so loud that a person walking along the bank can actually hear these tiny creatures singing from the bottom of the river."

The song, used by males to attract mates, is produced by rubbing its penis against its abdomen, in a process called stridulation.

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