A whale with a distinctly human-like voice

For the first time, researchers have been able to show by acoustic analysis that whales—or at least one very special white whale—can imitate the voices of humans. That's a surprise, because whales typically produce sounds ...

Birds' voiceboxes are odd ducks

Birds sing from the heart. While other four-limbed animals like mammals and reptiles make sounds with voiceboxes in their throats, birds' chirps originate in a unique vocal organ called the syrinx, located in their chests. ...

Koalas' low-pitched voice explained by unique organ

The pitch of male koalas' mating calls is about 20 times lower than it should be, given the Australian marsupial's relatively small size. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on December 2 ...

An elephant that speaks Korean (w/ Video)

An Asian elephant named Koshik can imitate human speech, speaking words in Korean that can be readily understood by those who know the language. The elephant accomplishes this in a most unusual way: he vocalizes with his ...

Bat researchers no longer flying blind on echolocation

Researchers at The University of Western Ontario led an international and multi-disciplinary study that sheds new light on the way that bats echolocate. With echolocation, animals emit sounds and then listen to the reflected ...

How science is giving voice to mummies such as Otzi the Iceman

Researchers recently managed to recreate the voice of 5,300-year-old Ötzi the iceman by recreating his vocal tract. The technology is promising and could be used to digitally produce the voices of other mummified remains. ...

Koalas' bellows boast about size

Koalas have a well-earned reputation for being dopey. Sleeping 19 hours out of every 24, and feeding for 3 of the remaining 5 hours, there doesn't seem to be much time for anything else in their lethargic lifestyle: that ...

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Larynx

The larynx (plural larynges), commonly called the voice box, is an organ in the neck of amphibians, reptiles (incl. birds) and mammals[citation needed] (including humans) involved in breathing, sound production, and protecting the trachea against food aspiration. It manipulates pitch and volume. The larynx houses the vocal folds (commonly but improperly termed the "vocal cords"), which are essential for phonation. The vocal folds are situated just below where the tract of the pharynx splits into the trachea and the esophagus.

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