With Valentine’s day peeking its head around the corner, the iconic symbols of love are flooding shops, restaurants, and the media across the globe.
But did you know mice like to serenade their mates with love songs, too? Crazy, right?!
We’ll, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Whilst they’re not singing Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ (arguably the best song ever created) to each other, they do use ultrasonic noises to find a suitable partner.
How do mice communicate?
Previously, it was widely believed that mice, as well as other rodents, produced these ultrasonic frequencies, which cannot be heard by the human ear, by vibrating their vocal cords.
However, new research co-authored at the University of Cambridge and published in the journal Current Biology has discovered that mice produce these ‘love songs’ using similar mechanisms to jet engines.Yes, you read that right!
The research showed mice point a small air jet coming from the windpipe against the inner wall of the larynx, causing a resonance and producing an ultrasonic whistle.
Other uses of ultrasound
Aside from serenading a potential mate with a love ballad, mice, as well as rats and other rodents, use ultrasound for other reasons.
Mice are generally active in the dark. Because of this, it can often be difficult for them to see. Luckily, they have ultrasound on their side to help navigate dark areas.
As you’re probably aware, mice are extremely nimble creatures. Not only do they have a vertical jump of up to 25.4cm, but they can also scale rough vertical surfaces of up to 2m!
Ultrasound comes in handy in these situations, as it has been suggested these rodents might use it to help get an indication of depth and their surroundings.
More facts about mice
According to Dr Coen Elemans from the University of Denmark, the study’s senior author: “Even though mice have been studied so intensely, they still have some cool tricks up their sleeves.”
Indeed, mice truly are fascinating and cunning creatures. It’s why they are one of the world’s most successful pests. Visit our website to discover 12 interesting facts about mice you need to know.
If you are in need of assistance in controlling a mouse problem in your home or business, contact the experts at Rentokil today.