• Could sound design help captive rhino breeding?

    Researchers in Texas are investigating whether the hum and rumble of urban life is one of the factors that hinders the captive breeding of rhinoceroses.

    Other research has considered the influence of diet and physical surroundings, but scientists speaking at a conference said they believed the animals’ #soundscape might be crucial.

    Rhinos have extremely good ears, picking up “infrasound” far deeper than the range of human hearing.

    [...] #Rhinos, she explained, can hear down to a frequency of four hertz, whereas even a human baby, with entirely undamaged ears, can normally only pick up sounds as low as 20 hertz. Giraffes and elephants can also hear in this infrasound range.

    [...] “The soundscape is something that #zoos need to consider and it’s something that can be improved,” Ms Wiseman told the BBC.

    She said that although zoos and other institutions had made a lot of effort to make their animals as comfortable as possible, “nobody’s really looked at the noise factor”.