The researchers were able to observe a linear relationship between the length of this helical flight and the frequency range in which the animals' hearing is most sensitive. Applied to the hearing aid of the more than 140 million years old Archeopteryx it was found that the original bird heard frequencies between 600 and 3, 400 Hertz, with the maximum of hearing at about 2, 000 Hertz. Thus, the Archeopteryx heard about as good as the Emu, which is among the less sensitive listeners among today's birds.
Since hearing also affects social life and vice versa, it may be possible to draw conclusions about the way of life of these primitive birds with the help of these results, the researchers speculate. Species that form large social groups have a more complicated communication about sounds, and this in turn is related to hearing, explains Paul Barrett, one of the scientists involved.Stig Walsh (Museum of Natural History, London) et al .: Proceedings of the Royal Society B, online pre-publication, DOI: 10.1098 / rspb.2008.1390 ddp / science.de? Ulrich Dewald ad