Where does the elephant get its distinctive voice? These massive creatures are capable of communicating with one another at frequencies outside the limits of human perception over distances of several miles, but how they do it has long been a mystery. Now, a team of biologists has demonstrated that they likely employ the same mechanism as humans to communicate at remarkably low frequencies.
Elephants are capable of producing very low notes, at what are called "infrasonic" frequencies — that means the sounds they produce can actually extend below 20 hertz, the lowest frequency detectable by the human ear. Researchers have known about elephants' infrasonic abilities for some time — but how are these sounds actually generated? That's been less clear.