The Cricket’s Chirp

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Growing up, my summer nights often featured a chorus of crickets and bull frogs. Even now, the sound of those chirps reminds me of home. So how do crickets make their calls? As this video shows, it’s a matter of scraping the hard edge of one wing along a tiny series of spines, similar to the teeth of a comb, that sit on the other wing.

How fast the cricket’s wings move affects how frequently the chirps are heard. Being cold-blooded, the insects’ speed is affected by the external temperature, which is why you can count cricket chirps to estimate the temperature. Essentially, the chemical reactions necessary to regulate wing movement are temperature-dependent, so colder crickets produce slower chirps. (Video and image credit: Deep Look)

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