A-z - Animals

10 Loudest Animals on Earth (#1 Amazing)

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  • The loudest animal in the world is the sperm whale, which can click at up to 233 decibels. Sperm whales are also the largest toothed whales on Earth, with larger brains than any other animal. Scientists believe the sperm whale's head is like a giant telegraph.
  • A large bulldog bat screeches 100 times louder than a rock concert. The great bulldog bat has the highest vocal frequency of any bat species, but it does not carry through the air as well as those of lower-frequency bats.
  • Male howler monkeys have deafening screams of up to 140 decibels, which they use to attract females or compete with other males.

Stop and think about the loudest person you know. They're not even as loud as the world's loudest animals.

While many animals rely on being very quiet to startle their prey, these animals use their loudness in unusual ways, such as seeking out another individual, defending a territory, romanticizing a mate or warning their mates to a predator.

The average volume of human speech is about 50 decibels, and the human eardrum will rupture at about 200 decibels. However, many of these animals regularly approach this level.

This list of the loudest animals on Earth is compiled based on the decibel levels they can produce.

#10. North American bullfrog -119 decibels

Loudest Animal - North America - Bullfrog
The roar of the North American bullfrog is as high as 119 decibels .

©Christian Ouellet/Shutterstock.com

North American bullfrogs make several different sounds to communicate. The loudest sound, about 119 decibels, was made with an open mouth, while all other sounds were made by the frog with its mouth closed. The loud sound was a distressed scream. Bullfrogs also make low, snarling noises when caught, as they struggle to escape.

When they talk to each other, they make raspy noises. A male bullfrog makes short, high-pitched calls when another male bullfrog tries to enter his territory. The most common calls of bullfrogs are advertising calls made by males near breeding areas. In some cases, older women may also make commercial calls.

#9. African Cicada – 120 dB

Loudest animal: African cicada
African cicadas can produce sounds as high as 120 decibels.

©suradech123yim/Shutterstock.com

There are more than 3,600 species of African cicadas, and many more are often found. While they're all loud, probably the loudest are Green Grocer and Yellow Monday. These insects emit sounds of up to 120 decibels and can travel as far as 1.5 miles.

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Only male cicadas make vocalizations, and they do so to attract females. They are unique in the insect world because they have a special part of their abdomen called a tympanum. Cicadas use all the muscles in their body to contract their abdomens to make sounds.

#8. Northern Elephant Seal – 126 decibels

Loudest animal: Northern elephant seal
Elephant seals can make sounds as high as 126 decibels.

©FiledIMAGE/Shutterstock.com

Female northern elephant seals communicate with their pups by vocalizing. Young pups can be noisy when their mother is not around, and they sense danger. Male northern elephant seals are the loudest at 126 decibels. The researchers believe that each northern elephant seal has its own unique voice.

Furthermore, the researchers believe that this is the only animal other than humans that makes decisions based on individual voices. If a northern elephant seal moves to a new habitat, they learn a whole new language, since each habitat has its own dialect.

While northern elephant seals can vocalize on land and in water, they're usually only really loud when they're on or near land.

Males make the loudest noises to warn other males that this is their territory. Then, another male decides to challenge that male or move to a different area based on the sound. It's the only animal researchers know of that can make decisions based on everyone's voice, except humans.

#7. Moluccas Cockatoo – 129 decibels

Loudest Animal: Moluccas Cockatoo
Moluccas cockatoos can scream up to 129 decibels

©CG3/Shutterstock.com

Moluccas cockatoos can squeal at a whopping 129 decibels, about the same volume as a 747 jet. Like dogs, if you have a Moluccas cockatoo, it will squeal to alert you that they sense trouble nearby. Their screams are used to alert their flocks of possible danger.

They are also used to talking on the phone for 20-25 minutes in the morning and evening.

If you have more than one pet, they will usually scream at the same time, usually at bedtime.

And be careful, because if you happen to get too close, they scream enough to damage one's hearing!

#6. Kakapo – 132 decibels

Loudest animal: Kakapo
Kakapo Parrot males typically produce vocals of up to 132 decibels.

© Imogen Warren/Shutterstock.com

The kakapo is the largest parrot in the world and one of the rarest. The flightless bird might have been extinct were it not for the work done by Don Merton and others in the kakapo recovery program in New Zealand. When the researchers first found the bird alive, all they found was the male. Then, they found four women. With fewer than 84 known bird species in 2000, researchers felt they had to act quickly.

To save the bird, they airlifted the bird, beloved by weasels and ferrets, to a remote island with rough coasts that made it impossible for boats to dock.

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They chose the remote Cod Island off the southern coast of New Zealand because it was free from predators. As of 2020, the kakapo population has recovered to 211 adult birds. Saving this bird was no easy feat as they typically only breed every 4 to 5 years and don't start until they are at least 4 years old.

Male kakapos often emit vocalizations of up to 132 decibels to attract females. However, once they mate, they let the female kakapo lay one to four eggs and feed the chicks themselves. The flightless kakapo must acquire as many as 16 rimu nuts per minute to feed each chick overnight.

Females typically lose half their body weight during this six-month-long process.

During the breeding season, males gather on rocks and emit loud calls consisting of 20 to 30 sonic boom-like sounds followed by metallic tones. This loud mode can last up to 8 hours per night.

#5. Howler Monkey – 140 decibels

Loudest Animal: Howler Monkey
Howler monkeys are the loudest animals in the New World, with screams reaching 140 decibels.

©Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock.com

Male howler monkeys can scream up to 140 decibels. The loudness of monkey vocalizations depends on at least four different factors.

In a well-resounding environment, screams will appear louder. Second, if the female is attracted to the sound, the male will get louder in an attempt to excite her.

Third, howler monkeys scream as loudly as possible if they are competing with other males. Finally, the subspecies that howl the loudest typically use few other methods to attract females, while those that screech less loudly do.

#4. Big Bulldog Bat – 140 dB

Loudest Animal: Great Bulldog Bat
Large bulldog bats can scream up to 140 decibels.

© Dr. Morley Read/Shutterstock.com

If you thought bats were quiet animals, you'd be wrong about the great bulldog bat that lives in Mexico, Argentina, and some Caribbean islands. Their screams are 100 times louder than rock music. Different bat species screech at unique frequencies, which may help other bats distinguish species at a distance.

The great bulldog bat has the highest vocal frequency, but it is not as airborne as those bats with lower vocal frequencies.

Now, scientists are applying what they've learned from bats to make robots better at it, especially in the dark.

Scientists also believe that they have wrongly measured decibel levels in bats in the past, and that small bats like the great bulldog bat, which weighs about 1.7 ounces or about the same as a nickel, may be much louder than previously thought.

#3. Blue Whale – 188 decibels

Loudest Animal: Blue Whale
The blue whale's call can reach 188 decibels.

© Wild_and_free_naturephoto/Shutterstock.com

The blue whale is one of the largest animals in existence, so it's no surprise that it's also one of the loudest.

However, the blue whale's sound is at the same frequency as many other sounds found in the oceans in which it lives, including ship engines, low-frequency active sonar, and seismic airgun array exploration. While blue whales often travel thousands of miles alone, this ocean noise pollution can cause serious problems with feeding, breeding, navigation and communication.

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An interesting fact about blue whales is that, unlike humans, they have no vocal cords at all. So how do they make sounds?

The scientists concluded that the blue whale's vocalizations likely come from the larynx and nasal sacs. Although they are loud, most of the sounds they make are below the human hearing capacity.

#2. Mantis Shrimp – 200 decibels

Loudest Animal: Mantis Shrimp
Mantis shrimp can make popping noises of up to 200 decibels.

©iStock.com/worldclassphoto

Mantis shrimp, which live in tropical and temperate seas, have a unique claw that they can close very quickly to catch prey. When they close their claws, it makes a loud pop from the blister that forms. This sound can reach up to 200 decibels. The sound scares the prey, giving them time to catch and break down the prey for food.

It also emits natural light when the blister bursts, further distracting the prey. This is the only animal in the world that makes a sound during cavitation. The process could also release heat hotter than the sun's surface.

#1. Sperm Whale – 233 decibels

Loudest Animal: Sperm Whale
Sperm whales are the loudest animals on Earth, with a click of 233 decibels.

© wildest animal/Shutterstock.com

Sperm whales can click at up to 233 decibels, making them the loudest animals in the world . That's not the only category it leads. Sperm whales are also the largest toothed whales on Earth, with larger brains than any other animal.

Early whalers reported hearing a hammer-like sound whenever they caught a sperm whale. Scientists now know those reports are accurate, and they believe the sperm whale's head resembles a giant telegraph.

It makes these sounds by forcing air into the right nostril. The nostrils consist of a series of air-filled sacs. A unique part of the whale's body, called the monkey lip, closes tightly, and the air continues to bounce back from the sac with a distinctive clicking sound.

The sound then travels through the animal's brain, where it is amplified even louder before the sound finally leaves the whale's body.

Sperm whales can make at least three different types of clicks. One is used as a long-range sonar. The most common click is the one that sounds similar to a squeaky door and means prey is about to be caught. Whales also have a distinctive cooing sound that they use when socializing with other animals.

Which are the quietest animals on earth?

Conversely, now that you've learned about the loudest animals on Earth, what about the quietest animals on Earth? These silent creatures live among us without making any sound.

Here are some of the quietest animals on Earth:

  1. Sloths: Sloths are known for their slow-moving and quiet nature, making them one of the quietest animals on Earth.
  2. Sea Otter: Sea otters are known for the soft purr they make when they are resting or grooming themselves.
  3. Octopuses: Octopuses are quiet creatures that communicate through body language and color changes and make very little noise.
  4. Snails: Snails are known for being slow, quiet and silent.
  5. Koalas: Known for their lethargic and peaceful nature, koalas rarely make vocalizations, mainly when they are in danger.
  6. Bats: Although bats are active at night and make some noise when flying, they are generally quiet animals and communicate through echolocation.

Top 10 Loudest Animals On Earth Summary

Let's review the largest animals in the world:

rank animal decibel
1 sperm whale 233
2 mantis shrimp 200
3 blue whale 188
4 big bulldog bat 140
5 howler monkey 140
6 kakapo 132
7 Moluccas Cockatoo 129
8 northern elephant seal 126
9 african cicada 120
10 North American Bullfrog 119

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