wolves

Sound analysis hints sirens have an evolutionary link with wolf howls

Emergency sirens and wolf howls are acoustically alike

Glenn Nagel / Alamy

There is an uncanny similarity between wolf howls and emergency sirens. The sound of a siren might be effective because we evolved to be alerted by howls, suggest researchers.

Hynek Burda at the Czech University of Life Sciences and his colleagues compared several dozen recordings of wolf howls with the sounds made by various emergency sirens, such as those on ambulances and in tornado-warning systems. Their analysis looked at the most important acoustic components of these sounds – for example their initial and closing frequencies or how …

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