Sound Ledger¹ (The Origin of Sound of the Species)

Audio culture by the numbers

541,000,000: The longest ago, in years, “that animals acquired some basic sound-making behaviors related to locomotion and predation”

200,000,000: The number of years later “before the buzzing of insects started to fill the air”

230,000,000: The number of years ago when “vertebrate animals evolved a wide range of vocal abilities”

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¹Footnotes: All items from

Originally published in the January 17, 2022, edition of the This Week in Sound email newsletter (

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