Big Idea Bring Ancient Voices Back to Life
Rebuilding the vocal tracts of extinct creatures could let us hear long-lost sounds: an ancient whale song, the cries of our ancestors.
The call of the wild has just gotten wilder. Along with bellowing lions and honking geese, you can now hear woolly mammoths that died out 14,000 years ago, the mating call of a now-extinct Hawaiian bird, and even a 3-million-year-old human ancestor, Lucy. Using three-dimensional imaging and a burgeoning knowledge of ancient anatomies, scientists can now rebuild ancient creatures’ vocal tracts and re-create their sounds.