You Can’t Hear this Surprise
The concave-eared torrent frog of China sings like a bird with a wide assortment of whistles and chirps. They live where streams and rivers splash down rocky mountainsides.
Researchers got a surprise when they were studying sonograms of the frog’s singing that they had recorded on equipment used to study bats. The sonograms revealed strong signals above 20 kilohertz, and way above human hearing range. So scientists wondered, can the frogs hear such ultrasonic signals? To find out, they went to the frogs’ habitat with equipment designed to record and play the full range of their songs. They then played the ultrasonic songs they had recorded. One of the native male frogs quickly responded. To verify that the frogs could actually hear the ultrasonic calls, researchers then placed electrodes into the portion of the frog’s brain that processes hearing. Sure enough, the frog was hearing the ultrasonic calls. Further testing showed that the frogs can hear sounds as high-pitched as 34 kilohertz. They then realized that this makes perfect sense. The water splashing over the rocks in their habitat creates a lot of white noise, so the frogs need to communicate in sound frequencies well above that of the surrounding white noise.
This unique design reminds us that God cares for all of His creatures and has fully prepared each kind for survival.