Ultrasound in Nature

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You’ve chosen ultrasound to be your profession and if you’ve come this far you probably already know that sonographic imaging is a great field to be in. It’s a well-paying and in demand job that is one of the fastest growing in the medical field. It’s a great skill to have, but there are some that are born with that skill! In nature, animals have been using ultrasound for millennia.

Here are a couple instances where you can find ultrasound in nature.

Bats use ultrasound to see, basically. While using sound to see sounds strange, bats have been making it work since the beginning of time. Bats are blessed with poor eyesight. They emit an ultrasonic noise and when the waves return to the bat, their keen hearing allows them to detect their prey, as well as obstacles in their path. This is called echolocation. It’s a great attribute to have when you do your hunting at night!

On the other side of the bats ultrasonic skills, some insects can use ultrasonic waves to disrupt a bat’s echolocation. A tiger moth will emit a series of clicks that throws off the bats method. Other insects cannot emit ultrasonic waves, but can hear the ultrasonic sounds of a bat. This allows them to know when bats are about, and they can take precautions to avoid being eaten.

Marine Mammals:
Predatory marine mammals, like orcas and dolphins, use ultrasonic methods to orient themselves in the water and also to detect their prey. This is called biosonar. It is also commonly believed that these types of mammals use sound to communicate.

Everyone knows dogs can hear at the ultrasonic level. The dog whistle is prime example and great way to help kids get an introduction to ultrasonic frequency.

These are some examples where you can find ultrasound in nature. Ultrasonic waves are all around us a lot of the time. It’s fascinating to consider that you are learning to manipulate a technology that has actually been in use since the beginning of time.

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