Too Cold to Chirp? (page 2)

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Author: Randall Frost, Ph.D.

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Read about the effects of temperature on the metabolism of insects and formulate a hypothesis about the relationship between temperature and the sound intensity of the chirping of choruses of crickets.
  2. Find a location from which you can listen to a chorus of crickets without disturbing them.
  3. Measure the ambient temperature at that location.
  4. Measure the sound intensity in decibels of the cricket chorus using a sound level meter.
  5. Return to the monitoring location each evening for a month, and make the same measurements.
  6. Tabulate and plot your sound intensity versus temperature data.

Convert the sound intensities in decibels to units of W/m2.

  1. Look a mathematical relationship that summarizes any trends observed in the data.
  2. Evaluate your hypothesis in light of your data. Revise it if necessary use it to predict temperature-intensity relationships for other singing insects. 



Sound intensity (dB)

Sound intensity (W/m2)






































Terms/Concepts:  Cicadas; Katydids; Crickets; Metabolism; Temperature; Sound intensity; Decibels; Loudness; Sound waves; Amplitude; Vibrations


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