Dec. 2 - During mating season, the male koala makes itself known to potential mates with a deep, extended bellow that reverberates through the bush. Scientists have long wondered how such a small animal can make such a big sound but they need wonder no longer. As Rob Muir reports, a UK-based researcher has found the answer.
Koalas spend most of their time asleep but during mating season, the male wants potential partners to know, he's very much awake. Scientists say the deep, reverberating bellow emittted by the koala is about 20 times lower than it should be, given the animal's relatively small size. But now, they saqy they've found the koala's secret - a previously undiscovered organ at the back of its throat. Benjamin Charlton from University of Sussex, says these vocal folds lie just above the larynx. Using an endoscopic camera he recorded the folds in action, by sucking air through the organs of recently deceased male koalas, that had been brought into a Brisbane animal hospital. He says the noise was impressive...and the evidence suggests, the ladies agree.