Document Detail

Vocal power and pressure-flow relationships in excised tiger larynges.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21037066     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Despite the functional importance of loud, low-pitched vocalizations in big cats of the genus Panthera, little is known about the physics and physiology of the mechanisms producing such calls. We investigated laryngeal sound production in the laboratory using an excised-larynx setup combined with sound-level measurements and pressure-flow instrumentation. The larynges of five tigers (three Siberian or Amur, one generic non-pedigreed tiger with Bengal ancestry and one Sumatran), which had died of natural causes, were provided by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo over a five-year period. Anatomical investigation indicated the presence of both a rigid cartilaginous plate in the arytenoid portion of the glottis, and a vocal fold fused with a ventricular fold. Both of these features have been confusingly termed 'vocal pads' in the previous literature. We successfully induced phonation in all of these larynges. Our results showed that aerodynamic power in the glottis was of the order of 1.0 W for all specimens, acoustic power radiated (without a vocal tract) was of the order of 0.1 mW, and fundamental frequency ranged between 20 and 100 Hz when a lung pressure in the range of 0-2.0 kPa was applied. The mean glottal airflow increased to the order of 1.0 l s(-1) per 1.0 kPa of pressure, which is predictable from scaling human and canine larynges by glottal length and vibrational amplitude. Phonation threshold pressure was remarkably low, on the order of 0.3 kPa, which is lower than for human and canine larynges phonated without a vocal tract. Our results indicate that a vocal fold length approximately three times greater than that of humans is predictive of the low fundamental frequency, and the extraordinarily flat and broad medial surface of the vocal folds is predictive of the low phonation threshold pressure.
Ingo R Titze; W Tecumseh Fitch; Eric J Hunter; Fariborz Alipour; Douglas Montequin; Douglas L Armstrong; Joann McGee; Edward J Walsh
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; In Vitro; Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  213     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2010 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-11-01     Completed Date:  2011-02-24     Revised Date:  2014-09-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3866-73     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Glottis / anatomy & histology,  physiology
Larynx / anatomy & histology,  physiology*
Species Specificity
Tigers / anatomy & histology,  physiology*
Vocal Cords / anatomy & histology,  physiology
Vocalization, Animal / physiology*
Grant Support
R01 DC008612/DC/NIDCD NIH HHS; R01 DC008612-01A1/DC/NIDCD NIH HHS; R01 DC008612-01A1/DC/NIDCD NIH HHS; R01 DC008612-02/DC/NIDCD NIH HHS; R01 DC008612-03/DC/NIDCD NIH HHS; R01 DC008612-04/DC/NIDCD NIH HHS; R01 DC008612-05/DC/NIDCD NIH HHS; R01 DC008612-06/DC/NIDCD NIH HHS

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