Dandy Designs
Hearing Without Being Heard
Home | What We're About | Links | Contact Us

What did you say?

boy whispering to great-grandmother

One of the most interesting design features seen in the world of animals is the frequency range in which different animals detect sounds. Humans can generally hear sounds between 20 and 20,000 vibrations per second (Hertz). That range allows us to communicate through the air and to play guitars and hear music.

Various animals have the ability to hear sounds in different parts of the frequency spectrum, and this has benefits for their survival. Dogs can hear frequencies higher than 20,000 Hertz. We call these sounds “ultrasonic” because they are above the frequencies we can hear. Sounds in this range are used for ultrasonic examinations of the human body and for ultrasonic cleaning of jewelry or other items. The ability to hear ultrasonic sounds gives dogs and other animals a defense advantage. Try to sneak up on a dog. If you open a door or step on a floor board creating an ultrasonic sound which you can’t hear, the dog will hear and know that you are coming.

Some animals can hear in low frequency ranges. Elephants, whales and other large animals can communicate over many miles because lower frequencies travel more efficiently though the ground or water. Some small animals can also hear low frequencies. Moles use low frequencies. If a mole communicated though sounds we could hear, finding and killing them would be easier for us and for their predators. Because they communicate at frequencies below 20 Hertz, they are not detected by animals above the ground.

Frogs, snakes, and many insects can also hear very low frequencies allowing them to communicate with others of their kind without detection by different species. If a creature gives off sounds that its predators can hear, they will literally be “dead meat.” Trail and error is not an option in this designed system of living.

The world of sound rings out loudly the incredible design of the Creator who gave various creatures the ability to hear the sounds they need to hear without being heard.

Science News, March 24, 2001, p. 190




Copyright 2006-2009 PowerVine. All rights reserved.