Dancing mouseWhen I was researching my post about whale song — The Music of the Earth, Part One — I learned that there are other creatures on our planet who sing or hum or somehow make what we think of as music.

A post on MNN (Mother Nature Network) alerted me to eight animals that sing, including the humpback whale I featured last month. Who knows, maybe there are more!

If you’re out on San Francisco Bay at night, and you hear a boat’s horn, but there are no boat’s in sight, you just might be hearing a male toadfish singing his mating song. An article on the website of San Francisco State University from 2009 told of the research Professor Roger Bland was doing as he studied the songs of toadfish. What I find particularly fascinating is that the toadfish seem to be singing together, in a way. Dr. Bland is quoted in the article as saying, “Like a choir improvising, the group’s pitch swings substantially over several hours with the individual fish following the swings, indicating that they are listening to each other and responding.”

Mice sing, too, and not just Fievel in An American Tail — although his song was lovely. Most mouse song is inaudible to humans, and to many other animals as well. It’s at such a high frequency (ultrasonic) that the predators of mice can’t hear it or detect the vibrations, but male mice who are good singers have a definite paw up when they’re looking for a mate. And amazingly, research into the differences in singing and communication abilities in mice is helping research into autism and communication! You can read more at Discovery News.

The others? Read the post on MNN to find out what other creatures are out in the world making music.

And to get YOU tapping your feet and singing along, check out Celtic Thunder celebrating the many creatures on our earth who have A Place in the Choir!

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