Tarsiers, tiny five-inch-long creatures with pointy ears and large, round eyes, listen and communicate using ultrasonic sounds that are outside the range of human hearing. Other primates also use ultrasonic sounds, but tarsiers are the only ones that communicate solely in ultrasound. Tarsiers may have evolved their ultrasonic skills to listen for their prey, since they feed entirely on insects, geckos, and lizards, all of which, also communicate in ultrasound.


Researchers in the Philippines used special audio equipment to record and analyze the ultrasonic calls of the tarsiers. They found that the tarsiers’ pitch becomes higher around humans, which may serve as a method of warning one another when a predator is nearby.

Can you think of any other animals that communicate with ultrasonic sounds?

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