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#573 Prelude To Fall

Since there are no human musical instruments around the house, thought I\'d use a different twist on this week\'s assignment.

Beginning in August, cicadas begin the ritual of announcing the nearing of our fall season. Here is an excerpt about this musical instrument of nature taken from Wikipedia:

\"The male cicada has loud noisemakers called \"tymbals\" on the sides of the abdominal base. Its \"singing\" is not the stridulation (where one structure is rubbed against another) that characterizes many other familiar sound-producing insects, such as crickets. Rather, the tymbals are regions of the exoskeleton that form a complex membrane with thin, membranous portions and thickened ribs; contracting the internal tymbal muscles produces a clicking sound as the tymbals buckle inwards, and the relaxing of the muscles causes the tymbals to return to their original position, producing another click. The interior of the male abdomen is mostly hollow, which amplifies the sound. A cicada rapidly vibrates these membranes, and enlarged chambers derived from the tracheae make its body serve as a resonance chamber, further amplifying the sound. The cicada modulates the sound by positioning its abdomen toward or away from the substrate. Additionally, each species has its own distinctive song.\"

If I go outside right now, I might just be able to listen to their daily concerto.

Good luck to all this week.


Sep 26, 2013 at 02:32 PM

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