Sounds Wild and Broken, is filled with fascinating factoids about our natural world.
- Reptiles lack the complex musculature for sucking (which means I’ll have to significantly rewrite a short story based on alien reptiles)
- Insects hear through vibratory organs on the surface of their exoskeletons and in the joints of their legs and communicate by stomping on vegetation or the ground, and often drum duets.
- Mice and rats communicate in a range we consider “ultrasonic,” above the 20,000 sound waves per second (Hz) humans can hear, but well within the 80,000 Hz range of cats.
- Elephants speak in rumbles pitched below the range of human hearing (“infrasonic”) that carry long distances through the ground--and hear them using dense patches of sensory cells in their feet that transmit the sound through their skeleton to their ears.
- Fish hear through jelly-filled ciliated cells and watery canals spread all over their bodies just beneath their skin and with inner ears similar to our own.
- Experiments with animals such as the European starling reveal their languages are as unique as those of humans.
Unfortunately, Songs Wild and Broken is overly repetitive and I skimmed at least half. At 40% longer than The Forest Unseen, this book would have been more powerful and impactful had it been distilled to a concise narrative about half its current length.
Worth a read, especially for linguists, musicians, or science nerds, but try your local library before purchase.