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Question about Lyrebirds...?
I'm a beatboxer (the proper type) and also interested in science, so it's natural that I would be interested in this sort of thing. I was wondering if anyone could explain how a Lyrebird's syrinx works, and if possible show me a website which has a diagram of THE 'LYREBIRD' SYRINX (only).
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
The vocal skill of birds derive from the unusual structure of their powerful vocal equipment. The syrinx is the sound-producing organ in birds. It is the equivalent of the human sound box. The syrinx contains membranes which vibrate and generate sound waves when air from the lungs is passed over them. The muscles of the syrinx control the details of song production; birds with more elaborate system of vocal muscles produce more complex songs.
But unlike our soundbox, which is situated at the top of the trachea, the bird's syrinx is set much lower down, at the junction of the two bronchi or air tubes leading to the lungs.
This means that the syrinx has two potential sound sources, one in each bronchus. The separate membranes on each bronchus produce separate sounds, which are then mixed when fed into the higher vocal tract. This complex design means that birds can produce a far greater variety of sounds than humans can.
Birds give the impression of singing in long bursts for minutes on end without catching their breath. But they actually do this by taking a series of shallow mini-breaths, which are synchronized with each syllable they sing.
However, birds must work hard to get their particular message across. There is a lot of competition in the avian choir.
The Superb Lyrebird is thought to have the loudest bird call in the world. The bittern is not far behind. Its loud, booming call is one of the farthest travelling of all bird songs. It calls relentlessly both day and night from deep within the reed bed, hoping to attract a female into his territory.