Current Issue
May 2014 magazine cover

Save 81% off the newsstand price!

(Jayne Yack)

Wild Things: Great Whites, Tree Snakes, Drongos and More

These animals redefine life as we know it

Shrieking Caterpillar

sphinx caterpillar
(Jayne Yack)

North America’s walnut sphinx caterpillar employs a newly discovered defense when under attack: it whistles. Researchers from Canada’s Carleton University and elsewhere found that it forces air through tiny abdominal openings called spiracles, producing high-frequency sounds barely audible to people. In laboratory tests, the alarm startled birds and made them fly away.

Learn more about the walnut sphinx at the Encyclopedia of Life.

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus