No, that’s not a car alarm.
The ear-shattering wail you’re about to hear when you watch the video linked here belongs to the White Bellbird, which according to the New Scientist is the loudest bird ever recorded. Full stop.
A native of the Amazon, the White Bellbird apparently has two different calls, which for our purposes we’ll just nickname ‘did someone set off the fire alarm?’ and ‘there’s absolutely no way a bird that small is making that noise.’ On average, the latter registers 116 decibels. That puts it squarely between the sound of a steel mill and thunder. Not bad for a little guy.
The bellbird’s song is “really, really distinctive and it’s unusual because it’s very simple. It’s one loud note, like a horn,” notes Jeffrey Podos, biology professor at the University of Massachusetts, and that monotonous tone apparently helps them in the bedroom.
“If females detect the loudest males from longer range, and find the loudest males most attractive at close range, then sexual selection would drive the evolution of extremely loud songs, up against the limits of physical performance constraints,” Dr. Joseph Tobias, biodiversity professor at the Imperial College of London, told the New Scientist. (RELATED: Video Shows Road Raging Motorist That Jumped A Curb To Deliberately Run Down Cyclist)
All of the sudden, Beto O’Rourke just started making a lot more sense.