Science: Why the Cricket Chirps

These are the days when the songs of the cricket and the cicada are heard in the land. Appropriately enough, American and British scientists have published some arresting studies of the motivations of the noisy insects.

Cicadas, long known to buzz to attract mates, also make loud noises to discourage birds from eating them while they are mating, reports Princeton Psychologist James Simmons. Several thousand cicadas encountered in a tree near Princeton produced a volume of 80 to 100 decibels when measured from 60 feet away—a noise equivalent to a jackhammer or a...

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