Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Mice Sing!

Everyone knows that mice squeak and squeal, but few realize that mice also communicate in the ultrasound range, at frequencies far higher than the human ear can detect.

Now scientists conducting the first detailed analyses of those vocalizations have concluded that these sounds are much more than a high-pitched version of the simple hisses and grunts produced by many other animals. Rather they are complex patterns of chirplike syllables that meet the scientific definition of "song."

To read the rest of this article in The Washington Post, click HERE


what do they sing when
    given lupus
      lathered with cosmetics
do they sing dirges,
compose symphonies of sadness,
or do simple tunes of longing
escape for their mates,
keening outside
on the dying grass?


erin said...

I have always been grateful that we did not have to test drugs etc on humans, and i know that animals feel pain, but to know that mice, like dolphins, sing, changes my opinion. Love the way you put this into words. Now the question is, do we continue to expirement on them, and what about other animals? A true dilemma.

Pris said...

Hi Erin
That's always been a dilemna humane people feel. On the one hand, cures are found for illnesses using animals and, in the same sense that we eat animals to live, there seems no good alternative. Cosmetic research? That's over the line for me, as is raising animals literally crammed into pens with no room to move and injecting them with hormones and antibiotics. To me, that's criminal.

Michelle e o said...

I dislike mice, they are dirty and carry disease. However if we decide to use things like cosmetics I think it's wrong to put drops of perfume or foundation in their eyes to see what it will do. What the heck do they think it will do? It's going to hurt and inflame tissue. It's obvious these things aren't meant for the eyes. It's common sense. Test those products on humans. But they would have to pay humans. It all boils down to our money hungry selves and the living things we are willing to sacrifice to get what we want. Oh don't get me going.

Disease on the other hand I feel differently about. You can't inject a human with bubonic plague and hope you find a cure before they die. Medical science and many lives have been saved, because of the sacrifices of what we see as "lesser" living things.

But you're right Pris, the conditions for these living beings could be better. We could respect the fact that we are sacrificing a life for our lives.

Knowing that they sing is amazing. I still don't like them!

Pris said...

Hi Michelle
I don't think I'd want them wandering around my house, either;-) When i was in college I did part-time working assisting one of my college profs..my main job was to feed the rats (not mice in this case). He never handled them enough that they were used to human contact, so when i lifted the glass lid to drop food into their cages, I had to wear a mitt since this rats LEPT for my hand and one clung onto the glove with his teeth at one point. I finished that job and didn't apply to continue. Scared the bejeezus out of me.

Michelle e o said...

Ewwww Rats are an entire different creepy. They aren't afraid! Great post Pris. Thanks.

Shane said...

3 squeaks up!

Pris said...

Hi Shane

mouse said...

I sing in the shower and in the car, when there's no one around to hear. Glad you have weathered the storm and are back in fine form!