Secret of Elephant Trumpet

Elephant voice calls is very powerful, able jarring as far as 10 kilometers (6 miles). No one knows why an elephant voice sounded like the roar, so Austria researchers for the first time to learn how the largest land mammal is producing sound.
African elephants in Amboseli National Park in Kenya. (Picture from:
From the study it was revealed that elephants produce sound in the same way as humans when speaking. Elephant pushes air through the vocal cords and make it vibrate to produce sound. Elephants can even produce a lower voice than men because their vocal cords eight times longer than human.

"The frequency of sound produced by elephant is very low," said Christian Herbst, researchers from the University of Vienna, Austria, as quoted by LiveScience, Friday (August 3, 2012). Elephants voice calls generally occurred at a frequency of less than 20 Hertz so undetectable to the human ear.

There are two ways of producing sound vibrate the vocal cords.
  • The first way is called the active muscle contraction. With this method, the throat muscles are actively contracting the vocal cords vibrate. This method is found in a purring cat.
  • The second way is called myoelastic-aerodynamic mode. This method uses the air from the lungs to vibrate the vocal cords. Humans use this way when speaking and singing.
Chance of uncovering the secret is open when the Herbst and his team examined an elephant that died naturally in the Berlin Zoo in Germany. Laryngeal tube mounted on the elephant and their special warm and humid air blowing through it, like when an elephant breathe.

These findings, reported in the journal Science August 3, 2012, showed that the vibration caused by the same as generated by aerodynamic means myoelastic-mode.

"Elephants are using this way to produce low frequency sounds," says Herbst. "We now have evidence of vote largest to smallest land mammals." *** [LIVESCIENCE | MAHARDIKA SATRIA HADI | KORAN TEMPO 3962]
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