Environment

SOME OF AUSTRALIA’S LOUDEST ANIMALS

Some of Australia’s Loudest Animals

For many animals, their normal behaviour is to remain relatively quiet and keep a low profile so they don’t attract the attention of predators. However, there are times when that doesn’t apply and they are particularly noisy.

In general, animals will make a sound for a particular purpose. Often, this may be to attract a mate, to deter rivals or to warn others of approaching predators. Sometimes these sounds may be extremely loud; whereas human conversation is around sixty decibels, some animal noises can reach 120 decibels, which will cause pain to human ears although the sounds aren’t intended for humans.

Some of the loudest animals are listed below.

1. Cicadas

With over 200 species in Australia, the Cicada is the loudest insect in the world and the Green Grocer Cicada is the loudest of all. Sometimes mistakenly referred to as locusts, male Cicadas can register 120 decibels and generally sing to attract a mate, creating the sound by rapidly vibrating their exoskeleton. The insects also sometimes sing in chorus as a defence against predators that can, as a result, become confused and find it difficult to identify individuals.

2. Koalas

Although Koalas are thought of as cute and cuddly animals, male Koalas have a voice that can be heard from miles away and which is the loudest of all Australian mammals. There are various squeaks, screams and snarls but the most common sound is a deep bellow that aims to attract a mate. This low-pitched call is the product of a larynx that sits deeper in the throat than for other animals.

3. Sooty Owls

The Greater Sooty Owl is native to the south-eastern forests of Australia and is nocturnal, spending its days in tree hollows, caves and under rock overhangs. Its typical call is known as a ‘falling bomb whistle’, a short, descending screech or shriek that can be heard over long distances.

4. Possums

Another cute looking creature, the Common Bushtail Possum emits throaty coughs and growls at night. As an added distraction, Possums can also make a lot of noise running around on roofs and decking, especially during the breeding season, keeping residents awake.

5. Kookaburras

Native to eastern Australia and also introduced to the south-west and Tasmania, the Laughing Kookaburra is the heaviest type of Kingfisher and the country’s most iconic bird. Its famous call is generally heard at dawn and dusk, being used to establish territorial boundaries as well as for mating, contact and as a danger signal.

6. Bush Stone Curlews

A familiar night-time sound in the bush, the Curlew’s call is loud and carries for long distances. It often signals a change of weather, particularly the coming of rain, and may be taken up in chorus by several birds.

7. Kangaroos

Most species are quiet but the Eastern Grey Kangaroo and the Western Grey Kangaroo make several sounds. These include coughing noises from males competing for females, although the most common noise is from its back feet as it bounds.

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