did dinosaurs sing like birds

Birds are even closer relatives to dinosaurs, so could dinosaurs have sung?

Although they’re not the closest relatives of dinosaurs, crocodiles are a good place to start when trying to imagine what dinosaurs might have sounded like.

That honor goes to birds, the direct descendants of dinosaurs. “I used to put a roast chicken on the docu-viewer in the classroom,” says Clarke. “You can see the assembly of those structures that are in your roast chicken in the fossil record.”

Given that birds have a distinct vocal organ, how might birds teach us about the sounds of dinosaurs? The larynx, a vocal organ found in the throat, is used by most vertebrates to produce sounds, but birds use a syrinx, a vocal organ found deep in the chest, close to the heart. Clarke likes to joke, “Birds sing from the heart. ”.

Little birds are able to produce such loud noises because a syrinx is more effectively located deep in the chest, which enhances sound production. A syrinx, in contrast to a larynx, genuinely has two apertures, allowing birds to produce multiple pitches simultaneously. “They can sing a duet with themselves,” says Habib. For instance, the wood thrush sings two notes simultaneously.

But if birds are actually tiny dinosaurs, why consider crocodilian sounds at all? The issue is that scientists aren’t sure when syrinxes first appeared. Clarke has found a syrinx from 67 million years ago (about a million years before large dinosaurs went extinct), but this syrinx was from an ancient duck relative, not a huge dinosaur. She hasn’t yet found concrete evidence of a huge dinosaur with a syrinx.

Yet, it can be challenging to locate evidence of syrinxes because they are soft structures. (Clarke’s syrinx was an extremely rare discovery. Therefore, it’s possible that there are still undiscovered, even older syrinxes out there.

Movie dinosaurs are known for their loud roars, but a recent study indicates that some real-life dinosaurs may have sounded more like chirping birds than ferocious lions. The first fossilized dinosaur larynx has been studied by a group of paleontologists from Japan’s Fukushima Museum. The larynx is an organ involved in vocalization and does not usually preserve well. The vocalizations of the Pinacosaurus grangeri (pictured above) may have been more subtle than previously believed, according to an analysis of the larynx found in its remains in Mongolia. By contrasting the larynx with the organs of extant birds and reptiles, the researchers concluded that the dinosaur’s anatomical configuration probably enabled it to produce a variety of sounds, possibly including chirps. However, experts agree that it’s too soon to determine the exact acoustics of these dinosaurs. Paleontologist Julia Clarke of the University of Texas at Austin highlights that many questions remain regarding the evolution of dinosaur vocalization. ”.

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No one on Earth has ever heard a dinosaur roar. However, this hasn’t stopped researchers and filmmakers from pondering: What kind of music did dinosaurs make?

The most well-known response may come from the motion picture Jurassic Park, which featured roars that resembled this:

This is a scary noise, but it’s likely not realistic. Dinosaurs were reptiles, but when the Jurassic Park sound designers created their roars, they mainly constructed them from mammal sounds — from recordings of tigers, lions, koalas(!), donkeys, dolphins, and elephants.

There’s no scientific basis for a T. rex sounding like a donkey. Instead, the filmmakers were trying to evoke the feeling of being in the presence of a dinosaur. (Jurassic Park sound designer Gary Rydstrom once responded to a scientist’s critical question of the film by laughing, saying, “It’s a movie.”)

Scientists find it nearly impossible to reconstruct the sounds of dinosaurs because they are unable to locate fossilized roars. Paleontologist Michael Habib states that “most of the sound-producing structures are soft tissues or less resilient hard tissues” in the Unexplainable science podcast on Vox. “It’s muscle and cartilage, and those tend not to fossilize. ”.

Still, scientists think it’s an important question. Understanding the sounds made by dinosaurs helps us comprehend the environment in which they lived and is essential to comprehending their behavior.

To start, the shapes of dinosaur skeletons do provide some hints. One dinosaur, called parasaurolophus (a.k.a. Ducky from The Land Before Time), had a long chamber in its skull, which allowed scientists to estimate the general frequencies that could have resonated within its head. But this chamber doesn’t tell us about the actual dinosaur voice that fed into it.

Still, all hope is not lost. Scientists can look to extant dinosaur relatives to determine what an actual dinosaur voice might have sounded like.

Habib states, “We have to do the best we can with the clues scientists have.” These are the most promising leads.


Did any dinosaurs sing?

Dinosaurs probably made vocalizations too, because many had the same (or similar) kinds of noisemaking structures found in modern reptiles and birds. Many dinosaurs are thought to have had larynx-like structures or some other transitional organ that allowed them to vocalize.

Did the T. rex sound like a bird?

Dinos might have sounded similar to large, flightless birds like ostriches or emus, which can produce all sorts of whistles, guttural bellows, and throaty clicks. But the bigger a dinosaur, the weirder it would have sounded.

Did dinosaurs make bird like calls?

A new study of a fossilized ankylosaur suggests it could have uttered birdlike calls. In the next generation of dinosaur-based blockbuster films, some of the star creatures could perhaps sound more like a bird and a little less like a roaring lion.

What sound did dinosaurs really make?

Her work has led her to a revelation that will shake the ground from under the feet of five-year-olds and movie goers around the world. Dinosaurs almost certainly didn’t roar. They probably cooed instead. Or more accurately they may have produced sounds in ways similar to the way doves coo or ostriches boom.