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    Koalas Have a Unique Vocal Organ

    Repost
    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    In a new discovery by scientists, a unique vocal organ that is only found in koalas has been identified.

    Koala bears are charismatic marsupials that are native to eastern Australia.

    In a new discovery by scientists, a unique vocal organ that is only found in koalas has been identified.

    Along with the larynx, a koala’s throat has an extra set of vocal folds that makes their distinctive low pitched mating call.

    The pitch produced by the larynx in a mammal’s throat is typically dependent on the size of the animal, but the second set of folds in a koala is much larger.

    It is the vibration of the extra fold that lets them make a tone 20 times lower than an animal the size of a koala should be able to make.

    According to Benjamin D. Charlton, from the University of Sussex, who led the research, the second folds are “over three times longer and around 700 times heavier than the laryngeal vocal folds, and larger structures can oscillate at lower frequencies.” (1,14,1)

    The folds have an effect similar to snoring, which happens as air passes through a human soft palate during sleep creating lower sounds than are produced by human vocal chords.

    What do you think about the koala bear’s unique way of producing sound?