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Shake it!

Looks like elephants aren't the only vertibrates who use vibrations inaudible to us to communicate.

I Am Treefrog, Feel Me Shake

ScienceDaily (May 21, 2010) — Using experiments involving a mechanical shaker and a robotic frog, researchers reporting online on May 20th in Current Biology have found new evidence that male red-eyed treefrogs communicate with one another in aggressive contests by using vibrations they send through their plant perches. The findings open the door to further study of what has been a neglected channel for vertebrate communication.

"In the case of red-eyed treefrogs, tremulation displays in which the frogs shake their entire bodies convey information about the status and aggressive intent of the signaler," says Michael Caldwell of Boston University. "They also appear to carry information about the size of the signaler."

Earlier studies recognized the importance of vibrational signals for arthropod communication. Scientists had their suspicions that vertebrates on plants or in trees might rely on vibrational signals to communicate, too, but it had not been experimentally demonstrated until now.

Link in headline to the rest of the article. Ribbit!!!