The Kid Should See This

The koala’s deep voice

Body mass and vocal pitch don’t always match. Male koalas have deep, rumbling vocalizations, an unexpectedly low sound that might normally be associated with wild boars or a huge braying beast the size of an elephant instead of a small herbivore. And now we know why…

In a study published in the journal Current Biologyscientists describe a second, much larger pair of vocal folds located outside of the larynx that creates the unique mating soundFrom National Geographic (which has a great “animal body mass to vocal pitch” chart)

Koala bellows have a pitch about 20 times lower than they should be given the animals’ size… Male koala bellows, for instance, are so fearsome that sound designers used recordings of them to create the T. rex roars in the movie Jurassic Park…

Study co-author Benjamin Charlton, of the University of Sussex in the U.K., explained in a statement that during inhalation, koala bellows sound like snoring, and during exhalation, they sound more like belching.

The updated video above is of Tekin, a koala male at the Dallas Zoo. He’s in a “bellowing contest with neighboring male koala, Gummy.”

In the archives: more koala videos.

This award-winning video collection is reader-supported. Become a sustaining member to keep TKSST online and free for everyone, including teachers and parents who use it as a resource to spark learning and curiosity for kids.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Baby Koala Elsa at Australian Reptile Park

Rion Nakaya

Koalas 101 and koala conservation efforts

Rion Nakaya

Sounds of Survival: The quest to record an exquisite spike-thumb frog mating call

Rion Nakaya

The mysterious song of the Humpback Whale

Rion Nakaya

Koala Hospital: Caring for fluffy marsupials in Port Macquarie

Rion Nakaya

E.T. the Walrus vocalizes at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Rion Nakaya

Listen to turtles eating watermelon

Rion Nakaya

Baby Koala: A Joey moves in its pouch at the Taipei Zoo

Rion Nakaya

Up close with a Giant Galapagos Tortoise

Rion Nakaya

Get smart curated videos delivered every week.    
Subscribe