The Cornell Lab

Directed by Dr Holger Klinck, the Center for Conservation Bioacoustics (CCB) at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York, USA, is an interdisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, students and research support staff working on a wide variety of terrestrial, aquatic and marine bioacoustic research projects. CCB’s mission is to collect and interpret sounds in nature by developing and applying innovative conservation technologies across multiple ecological scales to inspire and inform conservation of wildlife and habitats.

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Loudest animal sound

The loudest sounds made by an animal are unidirectional clicks produced by sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), which they use for echolocation while hunting for prey in the low-light ocean depths. These clicks can be as powerful as 236 decibels; in air, to the human ear, that's equivalent to around 44 times the loudness of a thunderclap. Sperm whales are able to hear each other's vocalizations several tens of kilometres away.