What Animals Use Infrasound?

Large animals, such as whales, elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, okapi and giraffes, use infrasound. Infrasound a frequency below 20 Hz that humans cannot hear, but several species of animals can produce and react to this low sound.

BBC states that elephants use infrasound to keep track of a herd over large distances. Lower frequencies allow sounds to travel farther because they are not impeded by most objects, like trees and grass. Elephants not only hear these low sounds, but they can feel the vibrations in the ground before it ever reaches their ears. There is also evidence that infrasound with elephants helps to coordinate herds and keep mated elephants in contact with one another. Scientists use infrasound to keep track of these large animals, especially in difficult terrain, like thick forests.

Whales also use infrasound to communicate over large distances, even hundreds of miles. In fact, a theory suggests that the tsunami in 2004 produced infrasound frequencies that enabled animals to flee hours before it hit Asia.

The roars and purring of big cats, like tigers, have some infrasound frequencies. Some scientists think that some birds, including homing pigeons, use infrasound to navigate. Other animals that hear infrasound include octopuses, squid, cod and cuttlefish.