Ultrasonic communication in frogs

  title={Ultrasonic communication in frogs},
  author={Albert S. Feng and Peter M. Narins and Chun-He Xu and Wenyu Lin and Zulin Yu and Qiang Qiu and Zhimin Xu and Junxian Shen},
Among vertebrates, only microchiropteran bats, cetaceans and some rodents are known to produce and detect ultrasounds (frequencies greater than 20 kHz) for the purpose of communication and/or echolocation, suggesting that this capacity might be restricted to mammals. Amphibians, reptiles and most birds generally have limited hearing capacity, with the ability to detect and produce sounds below ∼12 kHz. Here we report evidence of ultrasonic communication in an amphibian, the concave-eared… 
Pure Ultrasonic Communication in an Endemic Bornean Frog
Huia cavitympanum, an endemic Bornean frog, is the first amphibian species known to emit exclusively ultrasonic (i.e., >20 kHz) vocal signals. To test the hypothesis that these frogs use purely
Ultrasonic signalling by a Bornean frog
It is found that this species emits extraordinarily high-frequency calls, a portion of which are comprised entirely of ultrasound, which represents the first documentation of an anuran species producing purely ultrasonic signals.
Frogs Communicate with Ultrasound in Noisy Environments
The dramatic shift of hearing into the ultrasonic range of both the harmonic content of the advertisement calls and the frog’s hearing sensitivity likely represents an adaptation that reduces signal masking by the intense broadband background noise from local streams.
Ultrasonic communication in concave-eared torrent frogs (Amolops tormotus)
Results from the isolated laryngeal preparation in euthanized frogs revealed that the origin of call complexity and diversity lies with having a vocal system with nonlinear properties.
Ultrasonic frogs show hyperacute phonotaxis to female courtship calls
It is shown that before ovulation, gravid females of O. tormota emit calls that are distinct from males’ advertisement calls, having higher fundamental frequencies and harmonics and shorter call duration, rivalling that of vertebrates with the highest localization acuity.
Ultrasound Detection in Fishes and Frogs: Discovery and Mechanisms
A short history of the behavioral responses and the electrophysiological mechanisms (when known) underlying the production and reception of US in fishes and frog is presented, with a focus on the unique experimental approaches that have yielded this surprising upward extension of the hearing ranges of several specialized fishes and frogs.
Ultrasonic frogs show extraordinary sex differences in auditory frequency sensitivity.
Evidence is presented that females of the concave-eared frog (Odorrana tormota) exhibit no ultrasonic sensitivity and that ultrasonic hearing has evolved only in male anurans.
Vocal Sound Production and Acoustic Communication in Amphibians and Reptiles
Most amphibians and reptiles produce sounds with a larynx containing a pair of vocal cords. Clicking and hissing are common in both groups whereas tonal sounds are found most frequently in anurans
Evolution of high-frequency communication in frogs
To investigate the environmental conditions that may have led to the evolution of very high-frequency communication in some frog species, researchers study auditory communication in Huia masonii, a frog of habitats next to fastflowing streams on the island of Java, Indonesia.


Old world frog and bird vocalizations contain prominent ultrasonic harmonics.
These findings provide the first evidence that anurans and passerines are capable of generating tonal ultrasonic call components and should stimulate the quest for additional ultrasonic species.
Auditory function, communication, and the brain-evoked response in anuran amphibians.
The role of tuned auditory receptors in the acoustical communication system of frogs was investigated by studying the hearing characteristics of nine anuran species, and the spectral composition of the mating call matched the respective upper‐frequency sensitivity peak.
Vocal acrobatics in a Chinese frog, Amolops tormotus
Frame-by-frame video analysis of the frog's calling behavior suggests the presence of two pairs of vocal sacs that may contribute to the remarkable call-note complexity in this species.
Ultrasonic Communication by Animals
This book attempts to be comprehensive but the limits of the subject are rather difficult to define, so it should be read in conjunction with other books on audible bio-acoustics.
Tympanic sound radiation in the bullfrog Rana catesbeiana
  • A. Purgue
  • Biology
    Journal of Comparative Physiology A
  • 1997
Measurements of the acoustical coupling of internally generated sound to the enlarged eardrum of male bullfrogs show distinct energy peaks coincident with those observed in the spectral envelopes of the release and mating calls, pointing to a previously unsuspected role for the ears in the sound broadcasting process of the bullfrog and possibly other anurans with similarly modified tympanic membranes.
Comparative Hearing: Fish and Amphibians
  • R. Fay, A. Popper
  • Environmental Science
    Springer Handbook of Auditory Research
  • 1999
Hearing in Two Worlds: Theoretical and Actual Adaptive Changes of the Aquatic and Terrestrial Ear for Sound Reception and the Enigmatic Lateral Line System is presented.
Middle ear transmission in the grass frog, Rana temporaria
Evidence is presented that the grass frog middle ear also implements a lever system and probably makes a significant contribution to impedance matching in frogs.
Vibrometric studies of the middle ear of the bullfrog Rana catesbeiana I. The extrastapes.
It is argued that flexibility in the ossicular system represents a protective mechanism in frogs, and functional analogies are drawn between the stapes/extrastapes system of frogs and the tri-ossicular system of mammals.
Some thoughts on the perception of ultrasonics by man
A comparison of perception between ultrasonic frequencies and audio frequencies in the hearing range showed that ultrasonics produce, independent of the stimulation frequency, the same sensory impression as a sound at a frequency of about 12 or 13 kHz.
The Evolution of the amphibian auditory system
This book summarizes all aspects of the amphibian auditory system, reviewing current knowledge of the structure, function and evolution of this sensory system, and offers new contributions to the authors' understanding of this subject.