Why Elk Bugles Sound Like Ringwraith Shrieks

Why Elk Bugles Sound Like Ringwraith Shrieks
April 21 10:57 2016 Print This Article

By Jennifer Ouellette

(GIZMODO) – Majestic North American elk are known for producing high-pitched, screeching calls that carry for miles, particularly during breeding season. Known as “bugling,” it sounds for all the world like the piercing shrieks of the Ringwraiths from Lord of the Rings. This has puzzled scientists, because the pitch of an animal’s call in the wild usually depends on its size.

Larger animals like the elk, or wapiti, should have calls that fall into deeper registers, simply because they have larger larynges that vibrate at lower frequencies. “Their pitch is totally unexpected,” David Reby, of the University of Sussex, told Gizmodo.

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