Project 2686: Tobias Riede, Heather L. Borgard, Bret Pasch. 2017. Laryngeal airway reconstruction indicates rodent ultrasonic vocalizations are produced by an edge tone mechanism. Royal Society Open Science. 4:170976.
Specimen: Onychomys arenicola (MWU:Male, A06-01)
View: Thyroid cartilage, multiple views


Some rodents produce ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) for social communication using an aerodynamic whistle, a unique vocal production mechanism not found in other animals. The functional anatomy and evolution of this sound production mechanism remains unclear. Using laryngeal airway reconstruction, we identified anatomical specializations critical for USV production. A robust laryngeal cartilaginous framework supports a narrow supraglottal airway. An intralaryngeal airsac-like cavity termed the ventral pouch was present in three muroid rodents (suborder Myomorpha), but was absent in a heteromyid rodent (suborder Castorimorpha) that produces a very small vocal repertoire without USVs. Small lesions to the ventral pouch in laboratory rats caused dramatic changes to USV production supporting the hypothesis that an interaction between a glottal exit jet and the alar edge generates ultrasonic signals in rodents. The resulting undulating air flow around the alar edge interacts with the resonance of the ventral pouch, which may function as Helmholtz resonator. The proposed edge-tone mechanism requires control of intrinsic laryngeal muscles and sets the foundation for acoustic variation and diversification among rodents. Our work highlights the importance of anatomical innovations in the evolution of animal sound production mechanisms.

Read the article »

Article DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170976

Project DOI: 10.7934/P2686,
This project contains
  • 99 Media
  • 7 Taxa
  • 22 Specimens
Total size of project's media files: 909.04M

Download Project SDD File
Currently Viewing:
MorphoBank Project 2686

    Authors' Institutions

    • Midwestern University

    • Northern Arizona University


    member name taxa specimens media
    Tobias Riede
    Project Administrator
    Last logged in 11/01/17
    Bret Pasch
    Full membership
    Last logged in 10/03/17

    Project has no matrices defined.

    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views16653
    Project overview1438
    Media views10905Media search (951 views); M451191 (147 views); M451196 (109 views); M451203 (107 views); M451212 (110 views); M451228 (103 views); M451207 (114 views); M451194 (115 views); M451299 (87 views); M451222 (99 views); M451274 (99 views); M451287 (87 views); M451239 (100 views); M451235 (104 views); M451297 (86 views); M451223 (100 views); M451250 (91 views); M451213 (114 views); M451208 (123 views); M451253 (94 views); M451245 (84 views); M451295 (102 views); M451298 (104 views); M451236 (104 views); M451219 (118 views); M451243 (99 views); M451258 (110 views); M451248 (87 views); M451204 (105 views); M451257 (100 views); M451262 (92 views); M451255 (85 views); M451201 (130 views); M451224 (107 views); M451252 (89 views); M451303 (88 views); M451244 (90 views); M451193 (118 views); M451229 (109 views); M451202 (110 views); M451241 (94 views); M451211 (103 views); M451290 (96 views); M451293 (91 views); M451256 (87 views); M451249 (89 views); M451230 (100 views); M451232 (107 views); M451302 (113 views); M451237 (81 views); M451217 (120 views); M451292 (95 views); M451259 (93 views); M451206 (114 views); M451254 (100 views); M451284 (89 views); M451300 (94 views); M451225 (102 views); M451288 (100 views); M451234 (100 views); M451286 (93 views); M451209 (108 views); M451247 (118 views); M451220 (101 views); M451218 (117 views); M451216 (114 views); M451197 (118 views); M451260 (85 views); M451282 (89 views); M451210 (112 views); M451289 (97 views); M451283 (82 views); M451246 (89 views); M451301 (85 views); M451238 (90 views); M451199 (119 views); M451294 (85 views); M451176 (112 views); M451214 (107 views); M451231 (96 views); M451226 (97 views); M451221 (114 views); M451198 (110 views); M451285 (85 views); M451242 (98 views); M451195 (113 views); M451200 (107 views); M451280 (85 views); M451296 (95 views); M451251 (89 views); M451233 (95 views); M451192 (103 views); M451291 (90 views); M451227 (101 views); M451205 (101 views); M451264 (107 views); M451263 (89 views); M451279 (103 views); M451278 (84 views); M451261 (83 views);
    Taxon list897
    Specimen list2389
    Views for media list839
    Documents list1

    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project92
    Project downloads76
    Media downloads16M451303 (1 download); M451191 (2 downloads); M451192 (1 download); M451193 (1 download); M451194 (1 download); M451195 (2 downloads); M451196 (1 download); M451217 (1 download); M451218 (1 download); M451219 (1 download); M451220 (1 download); M451221 (1 download); M451264 (1 download); M451256 (1 download);