Listen to an ultrasonic forest soundscape

The recording features the ultrasonic soundscape of the tropical forest slowed down to 1/20th the original speed to make it audible. The listener can hear the ultrasonic singing of several species of katydids and, in the distance, the echolocation call of a bat searching for prey.

Ever wondered what neotropical forest katydids responding to bat echolocation calls actually sound like?

Wonder no more.

Laurel Symes, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Edward W. Rose Postdoctoral Fellow, studies the sounds of such forest creatures. Her research focuses on understanding how communication and decision-making is shaped by ecology and evolution.

The other-worldly soundscapes, slowed down to fractions of their natural speed to make them audible to humans, will soon be featured in a museum event and a radio series.

Starting Sept. 29, Symes and her work will be the subject of a series of broadcasts on KBOO radio, 90.7 FM in Portland, Oregon.

Also, the ultrasonic sounds that are the focus of Symes’ research are featured in a surround sound event at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), also in Portland. Taking place in the OMSI Planetarium, the event will feature surround soundscapes from around the globe accompanied by projections of night skies from the locations where the recordings were made.

–Krishna Ramanujan

Media Contact

Lindsey Knewstub