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Latest posts by Stewart Gasper (see all)
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When we think of loud sounds, we imagine devices, speakers, sirens and drills – but never a small 29 mm worm, Leocratides kimuraorum, that lives in the sea.
But when a team of marine biologists, led by Ryutaro Goto, measured the sounds produced by these worms, they discovered that they reached 157 decibels. A plane taking off, for example, generates between 140 and 150 decibels.
“This is comparable to the sounds produced by Synalpheus paraneomeri prawns, which are among the most intense biological sounds that have been measured in the sea,” the researchers explain in the study, published in Current Biology.
The mentioned prawns reach 189 decibels and use this “talent” as a hunting strategy.
The researchers point out that it was not known that soft-bodied animals, such as this worm, were capable of generating such a loud sound. “A strong outburst may be a byproduct of the rapid oral attack, but it can also help intraspecific communication,” the researchers speculate.