Research claims bats have a broader vocal range than Mariah Carey

A new study about singing bats is turning a few heads, mainly because it suggests bats have a better vocal range than Mariah Carey.

To recap, Mariah can sing through five octaves in addition to her impressive whistle register. So, how does a bat compare to that?

PLOS Biology published the peer-reviewed study from the University of Southern Denmark about echolocation, which bats use to catch their prey. It found that Daubenton’s bats have a vocal range of seven octaves. “This tremendous vocal range is unparalleled in mammalian sound production, but how bats achieve this remains unknown,” the research remarks.

Furthermore, the study noted that bats are able to employ the same laryngeal structures used for making death metal growls and “Tuvan throat singing,” which is an ancient, traditional form of singing.

That means bats are capable of using false vocal folds, which make “low-frequency calls,” just like certain humans.

New York Post reports lead author Coen Elemans, who is a USD professor, says the findings are “remarkable.”

“Most mammals have a range of three to four, and humans about three. Some human singers can reach a range of four to five, but they’re only very few. Well-known examples are Mariah CareyAxl Rose and Prince,” Elemans offered. 

As for how bats are able to outperform some of the greatest singers, Elemans said, “It turns out that bats surpass this range by using different structures in their larynx.”

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