“And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”
Birds do it. Whales do it. Now, it appears that male mice do it. They all sing!
Scientists have long known that mice produce ultrasound. Their pitch is about two octaves above what we can hear. For example, when mouse pups lose track of mom, they begin to cry so that mom can find them. Researchers carried out investigations to see whether there is any structure to the sounds that adult mice make. They did this by recording the vocalizations of 45 male mice. Then they slowed down the recordings to study them. The researchers found distinct syllables at about ten syllables per second. In addition, their “voices” also rise and fall in pitch at varying rates. The researchers then found that certain syllables were repeated, creating phrasing sequences that sound very much like music. The researchers compare the mouse vocalizations to the songs sung by whales and birds. While other scientists recognize that the mouse sounds are not random, they question whether they should be called “song”.
We know that music is a gift from God. It appears that God has been generous with His gift of music and just possibly has even extended this to the animal kingdom. However, only we humans have the privilege of praising Him with words and music for His gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.
I praise You, Father, for the gift and beauty of music and for sharing it with so much of Your creation. Amen.
Science News, 11/5/05, p. 293, B. Harder “Beyond Falsetto.” Photo: One day old mouse pups.