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8 unexpected animals that sing

May 13, 2011, 10:30 a.m.
men singing into a microphone

Photo: nyaa_birdies_perch/Flickr

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People aren't the only animals that can carry a tune

Everyone knows that birds and insects sing with abandon, and humans undoubtedly enjoy singing. But what about other animals? Biologists define song as “a sound made by an animal during its breeding season to attract a mate and/or defend a territory,” but when you listen to whale song, it’s hard to imagine that it’s all about reproduction and defense. Do some animals have a real joy of singing just as humans do? Here’s a look at some animals on Earth who vocalize in what sounds suspiciously like song. (Text: Katherine Butler)