What Animal Produces The Loudest Sound? Noisy Creatures Revealed | Kidadl


What Animal Produces The Loudest Sound? Noisy Creatures Revealed

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It is a known fact that most animals produce sounds much louder and noisier than humans.

Most animals portray social behavior, and one of the traits of that behavior is communication. Among animals, the most pertinent mode of communication is through sounds, which most of them use in order to interact with each other.

It is a commonly perceived notion that humans are noisy creatures. What if you were told that a snapping, or pistol, shrimp inside the ocean produces a loud pop, which goes as high as 220 decibels? Yes, that’s right! Many animals have the ability to produce extremely loud sounds, some of which we are unable to even register because they are too loud and above our hearing threshold.

An average human being can hear any sound between the range of 0-85 decibels, and anything above 120 decibels becomes physically painful. But the sounds produced by some animals go far beyond this range. These may be calls to attract mates or produced in order to scare their rivals away, but animals in the air, sea, and land are all capable of being utterly noisy.

If you enjoyed this article, why not check out what animal has the best hearing, and fastest animals in the world, here on Kidadl.

Loudest Land Mammals In The World

Among the variety of animals walking the face of the Earth, land mammals take one of the top spots when it comes to having distinct and loud voices. Wolves, lions, and elephants are some of the most common land mammals, which are capable of producing sounds that can potentially cause damage to a human's hearing ability if heard from a close distance.

While a wolf's howl alone can reach up to 90 decibels, an entire pack can go as high as 114 decibels. The case is similar for the roar of a lion and elephants as well. The primary motive behind a lion and wolf making such loud sounds is one of many. It is either a call to attract mates, hunt prey, or scare away an enemy. Meanwhile, howler monkeys and greater bulldog bats, which are also among the loudest animals on Earth, produce sounds for slightly different purposes. Howler monkeys, named after their distinct call, depend on their extremely loud howls, measuring somewhere between the range of 128-140 decibels, to communicate through the dense rainforests where they are usually found. On the other hand, the greater bulldog bat, which is also the loudest member of the bat family, produces a high frequency, the ultrasonic sound reaching up to 140 decibels which is beyond the human hearing limit.

Echolocation, which is produced due to the high frequency, is used by the greater bulldog bat to detect fish underwater. Hence, land mammals use their sound to indicate calls for several purposes, as mentioned above.

Loudest Marine Animals In The World

Marine life was the first to originate among all life on Earth, and as a result, it also has been the first to evolve over time. The process of evolution has helped marine creatures become more efficient at communicating with one another.

While among marine animals, the blue whale is considered one of the loudest animals on Earth, producing sounds up to 188 decibels, other creatures like tiger pistol shrimp and clownfish can be counted among the noisiest creatures underwater. Even though the blue whale is the largest and one of the loudest animals on Earth, the sperm whale is known to give out louder calls than them, measuring at 230 decibels. The only key difference other than the amplitude of their sound is that while a blue whale can give out longer calls that can be heard as far as 1000 mi (1600 km). The sperm whale produces shorter, lesser intense clicks of sound with less frequency than the blue whale, which sustains shorter bursts of sound compared to the long call of the blue whales. They have been known to use echolocation to detect their prey. The clicks produced have also been known to stun the creatures in its vicinity, but whether or not it kills them is still unknown.

On the other hand, the tiger pistol shrimp has been known to be louder than a gunshot, going over 220 decibels. These noisy creatures are also equipped with large claws which shoot water jets, which create an air bubble, and their snaps produce a shock wave louder than the call of a whale. Therefore, it won't be wrong to say that the snap of a tiger pistol shrimp is louder than the calls of a blue whale. Then there is the clownfish and sea horse which are known to make noise, loud enough to tear the human eardrum.

Loudest Birds In The World

We think that birds mostly sound loud because they chirp sitting on the trees near our houses. Well, mostly, that is not the case. Most birds have a tendency for loudness while chirping or producing a sound in order to communicate, which also includes physical body sounds while in the air.

Birds like the white male bellbird, which has been confirmed as the loudest bird in the world, have been known to usually sing at 116 decibels. But when they are making an attempt to impress a potential mate, they can go as loud as 125 decibels, even if the female is near them. The previous assumption that the male screaming Piha was the loudest bird has been rendered incorrect because of this recent discovery, which also determined that the male white bellbird superseded the male screaming Piha by at least 9 dB. Other than that, most birds from the parrot family have been known to be among the loudest birds.

The Nanday conure, cockatoo, Amazon parrot, and Eclectus are among the most high-pitched and loudest sound and noise producers with wings, with their ranges averaging between 120-155 dB. Most of these birds live in tropical environments across the world, which is why their ability to produce such noise in order to communicate over a large distance is adept. To put into perspective, the normal city traffic is around 85 dB, and the level at which a human risk's damaging their hearing ability is around 80-90 dB. Hence, these birds aren't just loud because they chirp on a tree near your house, and their loudness has the potential to cause damage to your eardrums if consistently exposed to them.

animals walking the face of the Earth

What do the loudest animal noises sound like?

Just like the snaps of a tiger pistol shrimp sounding louder than a gunshot and clicks of a sperm whale, the loudest animal noises can be compared to the sound of several objects from our daily lives.

Animals are capable of producing sounds and noises from within their bodies, i.e., vocally like the roar of a lion as well as by using their body parts like the snap of a shrimp. Most animals, specifically insects, possess the ability to make different noises for different purposes, like the North American bullfrog, the green grocer cicada, and other cicadas. While the loudest noise the bullfrog can make is with an open mouth that goes up to 119 dB, all rest are made with their mouths closed. Similarly, the green grocer cicada and several other cicadas make sounds that measure up to 120 dB and can travel as far as 1.5 mi (2.4 km). These sounds made by cicadas are usually high-pitched and outside the normal hearing range of humans. As far as the sound range is concerned among the animals on land, in sea or air, the sounds made by them are loud enough to hurt human ears.

For example, bats using echolocation, songs sung by birds, and the roar of a lion are all sounds that can be heard by humans from miles away. Even the animals underwater, like the sperm whale and blue whale, can make sounds that can travel as far as 500-1000 mi (800-1600 km). But if humans were exposed to the loudness of such sounds, it could not only damage their ability to hear but could also potentially prove to be fatal.

How loud is the loudest animal sound in the world?

The loudest animal sound in the world is louder than the regular city traffic, the sound of a chainsaw, and even a jet airplane! These measure up to a maximum of 180 dB. Whereas the snap of a tiger pistol shrimp and clicks of a sperm whale can go as loud as 220 and 230 dB, respectively, making them the loudest animals on the planet.

The click of a sperm whale is a vocal sound, the snap of a shrimp is a physical sound. While it is a fact that a normal human can hear from 0-85 dB and sounds above 120 dB can damage the eardrums, it is also hypothesized that sounds as loud as 230 dB could physically harm the human body, if not kill. Therefore, the loudest animals can kill with their sounds, but thankfully they live underwater, avoiding the possibility altogether.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what animals produce the loudest sounds, then why not take a look at most popular animals, or rarest animals.

Kidadl Team
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Kidadl Team

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