Listening around the surface, workshop, CAMP

Jana will be leading a workshop at CAMP in August 2024.

The surface of fresh water, and the habitats around it, provide a home for a huge number of sound-making creatures. Chirping, drumming, stridulating, grunting aquatic insects, fish and beetles. Above the water, there are sounds inaudible to humans - echolocating bats, screaming mice, and insects stridulating into the ultrasound range.

Some of these creatures live above or under the surface their whole lives; others pass between the two spaces, living their lives partly under and partly above the surface. Under the surface we can hear the surrounding environment, the speed of the water, the creatures movement and communication, the wind on the surface, stones moved by water, plants, tree roots. Stone flies play drum solos on sticks and branches to call out for mates - you can determine the species of Stone fly according to their drumming patterns. Waterboatmen are the loudest animals, proportionate to their size, that we know about. Vibrations are picked up in many different ways. Different temperatures at different times of day and night will make the environment sound different. Bubbles evaporate, plants make sound as they photosynthesise. Spiders fish for vibrations in their webs, sensitive to the exact vibrations caused by their prey.

Find more information here.