The loudest mammal of all is the blue whale. This animal’s song can reach 188 decibels and be heard 800 kilometres away. It is louder, yet less complex, than the song of the humpback whale.
The blue whale is an extremely large animal, but very small animals can also make quite a racket. Bush crickets are small, but when the males chirp to attract the attention of a female, they make as much noise as a chainsaw. They produce their calls by rubbing their wings together, which is called stridulating.
One insect that doesn’t make the loudest sound, but does come close when its size is taken into consideration, is the backswimmer. Even though it is only two millimetres in length, it produces 105 decibels. The scientists who registered the sound were so surprised that they checked their instruments before believing it. This volume is comparable to a passing freight train. Not only the volume, but also the way the sound is produced is remarkable: the backswimmer makes so much noise by rubbing his penis against his abdomen.
The calls of more ruckus-raising frogs, shrimp, birds or crickets – and their pictures – can be found on Nationalgeographic.com.