Animals That Use Ultrasound and Infrasound- List Of Top 27 Animals


Have you ever thought about how animals communicate? Or about Animals That Use Ultrasound and Infrasound to communicate over vast distances?

You got it right! I am trying to say that animals also use sound waves to communicate. But How? Let me explain.

Many ranges of sound are outside the hearing capacity of humans. The audible frequency range for a human ear is 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, but animals communicate with low-frequency and high-frequency sounds.

The animals are gifted with different hearing structures, so they not only see the world differently but also hear it differently.

So what are Ultrasonic and Infrasonic waves, and what are the Animals That Use Ultrasound and Infrasound?

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Ultrasonic Waves and Animals That Use Ultrasound To Communicate:

The sound waves with a frequency of 20 kHz or higher are called ultrasonic sounds or Ultrasound. The frequency of Ultrasound is greater than the audible frequency ranges for a normal human ear. The Ultrasonic sound cannot travel in a vacuum.
Dog whistles that produce sound at 23 – 54 kHz are the most interesting example of Ultrasound. The Dog whistles can be heard by other cats, dogs, and other animals.
Other Animals That Use Ultrasound Are Dolphins, Bats, Cats, Dogs, Toads, Insects, Beetles, Frogs, Nocturnal oilbirds, shrews, Praying Mantis, hedgehogs, and many others. The high-pitched sounds these animals produce, like bats and dolphins, help them determine an object's location via the reflected sound. This technique is also called echolocation, and it helps the animals to easily navigate in the dark, avoid obstacles, hunt, and stay away from predators.

14 Animals That Use Ultrasound:

1 Bats:

Bats use echolocation to emit high-pitched noises that reflect and bounce back to their ears to help them distinguish the objects and their prey. The echolocation also helps the bat navigate and hunt in the dark.
Different species of bats have different patterns to the calls for navigating, hunting, locating, and socializing.

2 Dogs:

As I have already discussed, Silent dog whistles are a popular example of Ultrasound. Dog whistles were a famous means to get the dog's attention.
The dog whistles may be considered silent to the human ear but can easily be noticed by other animals.

3 Cats:

Cats can hear frequencies up to 79KHz. It means cats have extremely heightened senses that are even better than dogs.
Cats don't use Ultrasonic waves to communicate, yet they can sense frequencies that are inaudible to humans.

4 Rats:

Rats also fall in the category of animals that use Ultrasound as they can hear and produce frequencies that a human ear cannot notice.
Rats tend to make noise when they are stressed, injured, happy, or want a mate. For example, when a mother accidentally steps on their baby, the baby rat produces ultrasonic waves to alert her.

5 Frogs:

Although frogs do not have external ears, they have an inner ear with two organs (amphibian and basilar papillae) through which the frogs can detect low-frequency and high-frequency sounds.
Frogs have a hearing frequency of up to 38 kHz, the highest frequency among any amphibian specie.

6 Toads:

Toads can also hear very well as the hearing structures of the toads are well adapted to detect calls on land.
Toads and frogs communicate and navigate using their high-pitched calls.

7 Moths:

Moths can hear a frequency range that is 3x greater than that of a normal human ear. Most Moths have ultrasound-sensitive tympanal ears that prevent them from predatory bats that emit echolocation calls in search of food.
This means the bats that are the best enemy of moths; when using echolocation to locate them, the moths can hear their chatter and get a chance to instantly disappear from that place.
Moths can hear frequencies up to 300 kHz.

8 Praying Mantis:

Praying Mantis, once thought to be deaf, has one ear located in the ventral midline of their body. Their single sensitive ear allows them to hear ultrasounds that are far beyond the range of human hearing.
Praying Mantis can hear ultrasonic frequencies above 20,000 Hz, just above what a normal human ear can detect.

9 Dolphins:

Like Bats, Dolphins also use the Echolocation technique to navigate dark, murky waters. The dolphins send high-pitched Ultrasound to determine the type of object the sound waves have hit.
In addition, researchers from Sweden and the U.S. have discovered that dolphins produce two distinct sound beam projections instead of one.

10 Tarsiers:

Tarsiers are tiny primates with the highest frequency range recorded for terrestrial mammals. The tarsiers can hear ultrasonic waves up to 70 kHz.
Tarsiers use Ultrasound to find their meal and keep them from being eaten. Tarsiers mostly dine on Moths and katydids that use Ultrasonic sounds to communicate.
The Tarsiers also communicate using Ultrasound (High-frequency sounds) that do not get noticed by other predators.

11 Shrews:

Shrew, a small mole-like mammal, has an acute sense of hearing, touch, and smell. Shrews are vocal animals with a frequency range from 2 – 20 kHz.
Shrews make high-pitched sounds for various purposes like communicating with families, navigating using the echolocation technique, and attracting partners.

12 Rainforest Katydid:

When katydid rubs their forewings together, they produce high-frequency sounds, which some sounds humans can hear, and some humans can't hear.
Some Katydids uses ultrasound waves to communicate, listen to bats, and find mates.
Katydids can locate any sound source because every sound hits their eardrums twice, once from inside and once from outside the body.

13 Scarab Beetles:

The scarab beetle is a night-flying beetle with the auditory sense of hearing airborne sounds. The scarab beetles are sensitive to frequencies ranging from 20 - 70 kHz.

14 Oilbirds:

Oilbirds, a nocturnal fruit-eating bird, use the echolocation technique to navigate in the dark.
Oilbirds produce sound waves that only detect large objects, for example, other birds and fruits, perhaps down to the size of a grape.

Infrasonic Waves and Animals That Use Infrasound To Communicate:

The sound waves with a frequency of 20 Hz or lower to 0.001 Hz are called Infrasonic sounds or Infrasound. These infrasonic waves have low frequency, and human ears can't hear this sound.
The sound produced by earthquakes, thunders, ocean waves, waterfalls, weather, meteors, and volcanic eruption falls under the category of Infrasound.
The infrasonic wave frequencies are good for long-distance communications because they travel through the bones and tissues of the head, thus reaching both ears at the same time.
It means the infrasonic sound waves travel well through objects instead of being reflected and are good for long-distance communications. But infrasonic waves are not good for locating individual animals as it is hard to tell the direction from which the Infrasound is coming.
Animals That Use Infrasound include Rhinos, elephants, alligators, pigeons, Cuttlefish, giraffes, guinea fowl, Cod, hippos, octopuses, squid, okapis, and many more. These animal sensory organs capture waves that are below 20 Hz.

13 Animals That Use Infrasound:

1 Rhinos:

Rhinos have extremely good ears and communicate using Infrasound. The Rhinos can hear sounds with a frequency of 4Hz that fall deeper than the frequency range of a normal human ear.
Rhinos can produce a sound that can travel up to 12 miles.

2 Hippos:

Many mammals produce Infrasound, but the Hippopotamus can make sounds underwater and in the air. The Hippos can communicate at frequencies as low as 5 Hz.

3 Elephants:

Elephants have large ears and excellent hearing capability. Elephants make low-frequency Infrasonic noise to keep in touch; the sound travels within a distance of 10 Km. The Elephants can hear a sound frequency between 1 – 20 Hz.

4 Giraffes:

Researchers have discovered that Giraffes communicate using low-frequency Infrasound; that cannot be detected by human ears. It also means that giraffes have excellent hearing abilities. Moreover, the Giraffe's sharp senses add up with their hearing to help them stay alert for predators.

5 Guinea Fowl:

Among different bird species, the sensitivity of Infrasound varies; some birds are quite insensitive while others, like Guinea Fowl, Asian grouse, and rock dove, are quite sensitive.
Guinea Fowl may not be able to communicate using Infrasound but are capable of detecting Infrasound and responding to them. The Guinea Fowl being sensitive to noise, produces loud calls and squawks.

6 Alligators:

The Alligators use Infrasound to communicate over large distances. Moreover, the male Alligators produce Infrasound to attract females. The alligators produce an array of Infrasound by vibrating air inside the special sound-producing sacs in their chins.
The Alligator ears are located behind their eyes and are very sensitive to vibrations in the water.

7 Octopus:

The octopus uses a sac-like structure called a statocyst to hear the Infrasonic sounds. The statocyst contains sensitive hairs and mineralized mass, which helps the octopus to differentiate Infrasound of different frequencies like one produced by whales, boats, and other predators.

8 Squids:

Like octopuses, the Squids also have statocysts in their heads to detect sounds. The Squids detect the water movements produced by sound. It is also said that Squids hear by detecting their moving with the sound waves.

9 Pigeons:

Pigeons have excellent hearing and can hear Infrasonic waves of frequency lower than 0.5 Hz. It means pigeons can hear the sounds of storms, volcanoes and earthquakes.
Pigeons use their hearing ability to build their own navigational maps.

10 Crocodiles:

The crocodile also falls on the list of animals using Infrasound to communicate. Crocodiles are adapted to detect sounds in both water and air.
The Crocodiles use a combination of vocalizations, Infrasound, jaw slaps, or head slaps to communicate over long distances.

11 Tigers:

Tiger also makes low-frequency roars of 18 Hz or lower to attract mates and keep away their rivals. The tiger ears can rotate like a radar dish to detect sounds in the forest.
The deep roars of tigers are inaudible to humans.

12 Cod:

The Cod can detect Infrasound of frequency down to 0.1 Hz. The Cod utilize the Infrasound information during migration in the sea.

13 Cuttlefish:

Cuttlefish are the most intelligent invertebrates as they have large brains relative to their body mass. Cuttlefish can hear at an extremely low frequency that a human cannot hear. The Cuttlefish can hear Infrasound because of their innate ability and thus can stay away from predators and even people.


What are Ultrasonic waves?

Ultrasonic waves travel through any medium (light, air, metals, and water) and range from 23 Hz to 54 kHz. Ultrasonic waves or Ultrasound are "inaudible to humans as they have higher frequencies than the audible frequency range for a normal human ear.

What are the four species that use Ultrasound?

The Ultrasound is used to communicate by the following species:
1. Cats.
2. Dogs.
3. Bats.
4. Birds.

What is the use of ultrasonic waves in human life?

The Ultrasonic sound waves are used in echocardiography to construct an image of human internal body parts. Ultrasonic waves are also used for crack detection in metal blocks. Moreover, in product testing, they are also used to detect invisible flaws.

How echolocation helps Dolphins?

Echolocation is used by many animals to determine the location of objects using the reflected sound. Dolphins also used echolocation to navigate the dark, identify their predator, avoid obstacles, and hunt.

What is an example of ultrasonic waves?

Dog whistles that other cats, dogs, and other animals can hear are an interesting example of ultrasonic waves. The Dog whistles produce sound at 23 Hz to 54 kHz frequencies.

Is an Elephant ultrasonic or infrasonic?

Elephants produce Infrasonic sound waves.
The Elephants produce low-frequency sounds that range between 1- 20 Hz to stay connected at a length of 10 km.

What is an example of Infrasound?

The sound produced by elephants, giraffes, pigeons, Cuttlefish, and many other animals, plus the sound produced by earthquakes, thunders, ocean waves, waterfalls, weather, meteors, and volcanic eruption, is ultrasonic waves.

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