Bats Are ‘Death Metal Singers’ With A Better Vocal Range Than Mariah Carey, Study Says

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Bats have been dubbed the “death metal singers” of the animal kingdom, after a new study showed that their impressive vocal range exceeds that of Mariah Carey.

According to research published in the PLOS Biology journal, bats produce “very diverse vocal signals for echolocation and social communication that span an impressive frequency range of 1 to 120 kHz or 7 octaves.”  Most mammals have a vocal range of three to four octaves, with pop sensation Mariah Carey coming in at an impressive five, meaning the vocal range of bats in the mammalian world is “unparalleled,” the study reported.

“We show that bats vibrate extremely thin and light membranes extending from their vocal folds to make their high-frequency ultrasonic calls for echolocation. To extend their limited lower vocal range, bats make aggressive calls with their ventricular folds – as in death metal growls,” the study continued. (RELATED: Sometimes Octopuses Punch Fish Out Of Spite, Scientists Say)

“We identified for the first time what physical structures within the larynx oscillate to make their different vocalizations. For example, bats can make low-frequency calls, using their so-called ‘false vocal folds’ – like human death metal singers do,” explained lead study author Professor Coen Elemans of the University of Southern Denmark, per the New York Post.

To make the gruff-sounding noises associated with death metal, humans have to move their vocal cords back and forth, which “makes the vocal folds heavy,” causing them to vibrate at very low frequencies, co-author Dr. Jonas Hakansson explained, per the Post.

Not only can bats imitate death metal singers, but they have also shown the ability to produce two or more pitches simultaneously, a practice traditionally associated with throat singers in the small Siberian republic of Tuva, the Post reported.