Plants and Animals

Female Frogs Have “Noise-Cancelling Headphones” In Their Lungs, Tuning Out Unwanted Males

Female Frogs Have “Noise-Cancelling Headphones” In Their Lungs, Tuning Out Unwanted Males

Many species of male frogs rely on mating calls to attract mates. However, even after the woman falls in love with the sexist ribbit, true love faces a hurdle: how to find the velvet-toned charm in the noise. Some species have come up with truly remarkable solutions – lungs that discard unwanted sounds so that the bipolar Juliet can find her way to her frog’s Romeo. Anyone can testify walking along the side of a suitable pond, things can get quite loud when the time is right for breeding. These words can come from different species, creating an epic “cocktail party problem”. So how does a woman harmonize all the other voices and move on to her handsome hero?

Lee said in a statement, Dr. Norman Lee of St. Olaf College Minnesota discovered that it is present in all lungs. When swollen, they tune in to the women’s background. “In short, the lungs cancel out the ear’s cry response to sound, especially the ‘chorus’ in chorus reproduction.”

Makes desired male call specific frequency from lung background noise. “This is similar to the signal-processing algorithms used to enhance spectral contrast applied to some hearing aids and cochlear implants,” said Mark B., a professor at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. “We believe that the physical process by which this occurs is similar in principle to how slogan-canceling headphones work.” Both human devices amplify the frequencies used in human speech and filter the rest. The frogs ’lungs are only half working, a frequent frequency among users used by aspiring males, but it is still impressive enough.

Curiosity connections between frogs’ lungs and middle ears were suspected to play a role in their mating process, but herpetologists were not sure how. A theory helped it in the directional search. Bees and Lee have tested this and reported in current biology that American green treefrogs are better than evaluating when their lungs swell when called. On the other hand, they looked at how lung inflation affects the vibration of frog cries in response to certain frequencies. In particular, male green treefrogs have 834 and 2,730 Hz calls at that peak. Other species prefer different frequencies.

By burning lasers in the eardrums of female green treefrogs (a phrase we never expect to write), Bee and Lee have confirmed that the lungs reduce sensitivity to anything between 1,400 and 2,200 Hz. Other frogs that breed in the same locations use inter-frequencies. Of course, green treefrogs still have to endure the sounds of species that go low or very high, not to mention very close to their own males. Until someone discovers the frog Tinder, every bit helps.

Bees and Lee did not extend their research to other species, but they did notice that many frogs have both; they have a wide range of individual characteristics. They suspect that other females are also creating an unwanted in-between range, the frequencies of which vary from frog to frog.