Author: Laura Dewis

OU on the BBC: Sound of Life - Beyond Our Senses

Updated Thursday, 15th July 2004
Not all sounds reach our ears, as Aubrey discovers as he takes us on a journey beyond our senses for the fourth programme from the BBC/OU series The Sound of Life.

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The rumble in the jungle - elephants Aubrey takes a trip into the ‘secret’ world of sound which we, as humans, are not normally privy to.

All around us, different species use sounds and vibrations to communicate with one another, sense danger around them and hunt for prey. By shifting pitch and speeding up and slowing down sounds, The Sound Of Life brings this incredible world beyond our senses into reach.

Aubrey discovers elephant rumbles and booms below our hearing range and in turn, discovers how important infrasound is to elephant society. In the famous Amboseli National Park in Kenya, Aubrey learns how an elephant without its rumble is as impossible as an elephant without a trunk.

Aubrey also finds out the importance of ultrasound for echo-locating in bats, about the incredible Morse code of the planthopper that lives in a lava tube, and about the perceptual worlds of whales and nightingales that are revealed by speeding up and slowing down their songs.

In later programmes, Aubrey goes on an underwater sound safari, samples a dawn chorus in Northumberland and finds out the complex meanings sounds have to different animals.

First broadcast: Monday 26 Jul 2004 on BBC Radio 4


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