'Researchers have captured recordings of echidnas cooing, grunting, and making
other sounds. But there's a twist: they only do it during the breeding season.
This discovery provides firm evidence that these spiky critters from Australia
who eat termites and lay eggs are capable of vocalizing, which has been a topic
of debate among scientists for years.
Wild short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus) at Dryandra National Park
in Western Australia cooed, grunted, wheezed, and exhaled – and a team from
Curtin University in Australia, along with colleagues from the UK, recorded
"As far as we are aware vocalization by echidnas has not been documented in the
published literature," the researchers write in their published paper.
"Auditory communication was long considered absent for echidnas, with their
only recognized sounds being 'sniffing' noises."
Adult echidnas made the sounds when they were solo or hanging out with a fellow
echidna. All the recorded vocalizations were made during the breeding season,
so it appears to be something they reserve for special occasions.
"Our team managed to capture some of these sounds with hand-held microphones as
well as a camera and microphone left unattended at the entrance to a cave
popular with echidnas," explains vertebrate ecophysiologist Christine Cooper,
from Curtin University.
"Careful analysis of those cooing and grunting sounds showed echidnas are
capable of vocalizing, aligning them with most other mammals in their use of
Via Rixty Dixet.
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*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics