T. rex growled like a gippy tummy

 作者:昌窝思     |      日期:2019-03-02 12:14:03
By PETER HADFIELD in TOKYO Steven Spielberg’s dinosaurs in Jurassic Park may look authentic, but the sounds they make would not have been uttered by their long-dead ancestors, says a Japanese researcher. Carnivorous dinosaurs did not roar like lions, and herbivores did not bellow like bulls says Matsumi Suzuki, director of Tokyo’s Institute of Sound and an authority on voiceprints. Suzuki has married the science of palaeontology with acoustic engineering to work out what kind of noises dinosaurs were likely to have made. As a starting point, he measured the size and shapes of fossil skulls. ‘Dinosaurs produced sound by oscillating cartilage in their throats,’ says Suzuki. ‘The fossils are too old to retain any cartilage, so I had to estimate the amount of soft material from cavities in the bones. As a general rule, the larger the cartilage, the slower the oscillation and the lower the frequency of sound.’ After calculating the frequencies of 10 dinosaur roars, Suzuki made voiceprints, including all the harmonics, on a computer and synthesised the sounds. He checked his technique by applying it to living animals, including cats, dogs, birds and lions. Because he is not a palaeontologist, Suzuki drew heavily on the research of dinosaur specialists. In a paper published in 1981, David Weishampel of the University of Pennsylvania laid out a theory of sound production in lambeosaurine dinosaurs of the late Cretaceous period. These reptiles, which include the parasaurolophus, carried a large, hollow crest on their heads. Weishampel concluded that these crests acted as a kind of resonating wind instrument. ‘He calculated the frequencies and the harmonics,’ said Suzuki. ‘I have just used my expertise in acoustics to reproduce the sound.’ The noise he ended up with is similar to a foghorn. Suzuki also found that triceratops, a rhino-like herbivore with three horns, made a sound not unlike the plaintive cry of a whale. His version of the cry of a tyrannosaurus resembles the noise made by a human stomach after a bad night in a cheap restaurant – not the fierce sound of the creature in Jurassic Park. Suzuki’s verdict on the film? ‘I like the sounds very much,’ he says. ‘But they are not accurate. That’s OK, it’s a movie, just for fun. This is an academic study.’ The sound designer of Jurassic Park, Gary Rydstrom of Lucasfilms, says he wished he had heard of Suzuki’s work before the film was made. His conversations with palaeontologists gave him the impression that nobody really knew how dinosaurs sounded. In any case, Rydstrom says, they took artistic licence by trying to match the sounds of the dinosaurs to their characters. ‘If someone had told me that Tyrannosaurus rex didn’t roar,’ he says,