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21 Animals With Extraordinary Loud Calls

Howler monkey. Image by Francesco Ungaro via Unsplash

Nature is filled with a symphony of sounds, but some animals take the art of communication to extraordinary levels with their incredibly loud calls. These calls can serve various purposes, from attracting mates to marking territory. Here are 21 animals known for their extraordinary loud calls.

Howler Monkey

Howler monkey on the tree
Howler monkey on the tree. Image via depositphotos.

Howler monkeys, found in the forests of Central and South America, are named for their powerful vocalizations. Their calls can reach up to 140 decibels and travel over three miles through dense jungle. These loud calls are used to communicate with other members of their troop and to establish territory.

Blue Whale

Large blue whale
Blue whales are the largest animals ever to have lived on earth. Image via NOAA Fisheries (TBjornstad 11:22, 18 April 2007 (UTC)), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The blue whale, the largest animal on Earth, also has one of the loudest calls. Their low-frequency sounds can reach up to 188 decibels and travel hundreds of miles underwater. These calls are believed to play a role in navigation and communication over vast distances.

Lion

Male lion
Lion male in Masai Mara National Park. Image via Byrdyak, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lions are known for their iconic roars, which can be heard up to five miles away. A lion’s roar can reach 114 decibels and is used to communicate with the pride and warn off intruders. The roar also helps lions locate each other when separated.

Elephant

Elephant
African elephants. Image via depositphotos.

Elephants communicate using a variety of sounds, including powerful trumpets that can reach up to 112 decibels. These calls can travel over several miles and are used for social bonding, coordination, and signaling danger. Elephants also use infrasound, which is below the range of human hearing, to communicate over long distances.

Kakapo

Kakapo
Kakapo. Image by rghenry via Depositphotos

The kakapo, a flightless parrot from New Zealand, is known for its booming mating call. The male’s call can be heard up to three miles away and is used to attract females during the breeding season. This nocturnal bird’s call is one of the loudest among birds.

Hyena

brown hyena
A brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea) drinking water, Kalahari desert, South Africa. Image by EcoPic via depositphotos

Hyenas are known for their loud, eerie laughter, which can reach up to 112 decibels. This laughter is used to communicate with members of their clan and coordinate hunting. Hyenas also use other vocalizations to signal alarm and establish dominance.

Green Grocer Cicada

Green Grocer Cicada
Green Grocer Cicada. Image by kengriffiths.live.com via Depositphotos

The green grocer cicada, found in Australia, is one of the loudest insects in the world. Its call can reach up to 120 decibels and is used to attract mates. The cicada’s loud song is produced by rapidly vibrating membranes called tymbals.

Red Fox

Red fox in ice
Red fox standing in snow . Image via Joanne Redwood, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Red foxes have a distinctive scream that can reach up to 100 decibels. This scream is used during the mating season to communicate with potential mates and establish territory. The eerie sound can often be heard at night, adding to the fox’s mysterious reputation.

American Alligator

American Alligator
Alligator. Image via Depositphotos.

American alligators produce loud bellows that can reach up to 90 decibels. These calls are used during the mating season to attract females and establish territory. The sound is amplified by the alligator’s large body and resonant air sacs.

Northern Elephant Seal

Northern Elephant Seal. Grendelkhan, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Northern Elephant Seal. Grendelkhan, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Northern elephant seals produce loud, low-frequency calls during the breeding season. Males use these vocalizations to establish dominance and attract females. The calls can reach up to 126 decibels and travel over long distances across beaches.

Peacock

peacock
Inspiring us to embrace change and find joy in the journey. Image by Lenstravelier via Unsplash

Peacocks are known for their loud, piercing calls, which can reach up to 100 decibels. These calls are used by males to attract females and signal their presence to other males. The peacock’s call is a distinctive part of its elaborate courtship display.

Bullfrog

Bull frog
Male Bullfrog, Plaisance National Park, Quebec, Canada. Image via Cephas, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bullfrogs produce loud, deep calls that can be heard over long distances, especially during the breeding season. These calls can reach up to 119 decibels and are used to attract females and establish territory. The resonant calls are a common sound in wetlands and ponds.

Screaming Piha

Barred warbler, Sylvia nisoria. Beautiful songbird.
Barred warbler, Sylvia nisoria. Beautiful songbird. Image by YuriyBalagula via Depositphotos

The screaming piha, a bird found in the Amazon rainforest, has one of the loudest calls of any bird. Its call can reach up to 116 decibels and is used to communicate with other pihas in dense forest environments. The piercing sound is a signature of the tropical rainforest.

Lion’s Roar (Revisited)

lions roar
Lion roaring under the blue sky. Image by fleckus via Depositphotos

While already mentioned, it’s worth noting again that the lion’s roar is one of the most powerful vocalizations in the animal kingdom. It serves as a crucial tool for maintaining social structure within the pride and deterring rivals from their territory.

Elk

Elk
Mountain Bull Elk in autumn forest, Colorado, USA. Image via depositphotos.

Elk produce a loud bugling call, especially during the mating season. This call can reach up to 100 decibels and is used by males to attract females and establish dominance. The eerie, high-pitched sound echoes through forests and valleys.

Whales (General)

Whales fluke can be seeing
Whale diving and only the fluke is showing. Image via Eduardo Manchon, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While the blue whale is the loudest, other whales like the humpback and sperm whale also produce incredibly loud calls. These vocalizations can reach over 180 decibels and are used for communication, navigation, and hunting. Whale songs are among the most complex animal sounds.

Cicadas (General)

Cicadas (General)
Cicadas (General) Image by Wirestock via Depositphotos

Beyond the green grocer cicada, many other cicada species are known for their loud calls. These calls can reach up to 120 decibels and are primarily used by males to attract females. The chorus of cicadas is a defining sound of summer in many parts of the world.

Gibbon

Two gibbons sitting on a wooden fence. Image by Chastagner Thierry on Unsplash.

Gibbons produce loud, complex calls that can travel over long distances in the dense forest. These calls, which can reach up to 100 decibels, are used for communication between family groups and establishing territory. Gibbon calls are a key part of their social behavior.

Wolf

Wolf
Wolf. Image via Depositphotos.

Wolves produce long, haunting howls that can be heard over several miles. These howls, which can reach up to 90 decibels, are used for communication within the pack, coordination during hunting, and marking territory. The wolf’s howl is one of the most iconic sounds of the wild.

Macaw

Blue and gold macaw
Blue and gold macaw. Image via Depositphotos

Macaws, large parrots from Central and South America, produce loud squawks that can reach up to 106 decibels. These calls are used to communicate with other macaws and signal alarm. The macaw’s loud call helps maintain social bonds within flocks.

Male Koala

koala in tree
By Till Niermann – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=81733775

Male koalas produce loud bellows during the breeding season to attract females and ward off rivals. These bellows can reach up to 100 decibels and are surprisingly loud for the koala’s size. The calls help males establish dominance and find mates in the dense eucalyptus forests.

Conclusion

Female white lion with two newborn lion cubs.
Female white lion with two newborn lion cubs. Image via Depositphotos.

Animals with loud calls use these powerful vocalizations for a variety of purposes, from attracting mates to establishing territory. These 21 animals demonstrate the incredible range and power of vocal communication in the animal kingdom. Their calls not only serve practical purposes but also contribute to the rich tapestry of sounds in nature.

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