The Sound of Birds, Whales, Elephants, Frogs, Published Online

The World

Adelie Penguin -- Pygoscelis adeliae (Photo: Tim Laman, Cornell Macaulay Library)

David Leveille

There's a short sound recording that we'd like you to hear for our Geo Quiz. It's not a human sound so it's not someone knocking at your door, or hammering up on the roof. It's a wildlife recording, one of the hundreds of thousands like it, at Cornell's Macaulay Library in Ithaca, New York. The collection is one of the largest scientific archives anywhere of biodiversity audio, and it just been digitized and put online. Here is the sample we want you to identify if possible: So is this a mammal or a bird? Is it on land or underwater? Could it be part of mating ritual, or an attack on prey. Try to narrow it down and identify the species and imagine where you'd hear it. The world's largest natural sound archives includes a vast array of recordings ranging from hoot owls to elephants, song sparrows to ostrich chicks still in the egg. More than 9,000 species are represented in Cornell's Macaulay Library archive that has now been put online. Audio curator Greg Budney introduces us to this collection with one of his favorites: A sound recording of lemurs recorded in Madagascar. By the way: Have you heard the sound of a walrus underwater? It's an amazing sound. The one listed below was recorded near Arctic Canada in the Arctic Ocean.