Why Sheep Calls Have That Unmistakable Vibrato

Animals from sheep to fur seals share a curious acoustic trait: Their calls feature a vibrato-like trill.

Vibrato is the small, quick oscillation in pitch that musicians use to accentuate certain notes. It makes a note sound a bit wobbly and helps catch our attention. It’s found all over the animal kingdom, too — think the staccato “baaaaa’s” of a goat. But animals’ pulsating cries are far more than stylistic. A new study from University College Dublin says that these characteristic vocal

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