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February 10, 2012

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Ancient cricket mating song

SCIENTISTS at the University of Bristol in the UK brought back the mating song of an extinct cricket that lived 165 million years ago, reported Science Daily recently. It is possibly the most ancient known musical song documented to date.

The scientists reconstructed it from microscopic wing features on a fossil discovered in northeast China. It allows us to listen to one of the sounds that would have been heard by dinosaurs and other creatures millions of years ago.

Bristol's School of Biological Sciences worked together with Chinese researchers, who provided an exceptionally detailed bush cricket fossil from the mid Jurassic period. The details of its stridulating parts were clearly visible under an optical microscope on the well-preserved specimen. After examining and comparing it with 59 living bush cricket species, the scientists concluded that this animal must have produced musical songs, broadcasting pure, single frequencies.


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