Scientists have found that bats use "death metal growls" to talk to each other

A bat, and Corpsegrinder
(Image credit: Bat: jochemy @ Pixabay | Corpsegrinder: Metal Blade)

Scientists at the University of Southern Denmark have discovered that bats use “death metal growls” to communicate with each other. 

Studies have shown how the Daubenton's bat uses its larynx in order to make sounds, and  in doing so, discovered that the animals use the same vocal techniques as the likes of Cannibal Corpse frontman George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher

“We identified for the first time what physical structures within the larynx oscillate to make their different vocalisations,” explains Professor Coen Elemans. "For example, bats can make low frequency calls, using their so called ‘false vocal folds’ – like human death metal singers do.”

While most humans have a vocal range of approximately three octaves, bats have seven at their disposal. 

In a paper titled Bats expand their vocal range by recruiting different laryngeal structures for echolocation and social communication by Jonas Håkansson, Cathrine Mikkelsen, Lasse Jakobsen and Elemans, it says that “in humans, ventricular folds play a role in several low-frequency forms of singing, such as death metal grunting and Tuvan throat singing, where they can touch the vocal fold and increase the mass of the oscillating structures.

“Furthermore, we show that bats extend their lower vocal range by recruiting their ventricular folds – as in death metal growls – that vibrate at distinctly lower frequencies of 1 to 5 kHz for producing agonistic social calls,” they continue. 

For the full report, read the PLOS Biology journal (opens in new tab).

Cannibal Corpse's Violence Unimagined tour of The US continues. For full dates and ticket links, visit the Cannibal Corpse website (opens in new tab). The band play Europe in March and April 2023.

Simon Young

Born in 1976 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Simon Young has been a music journalist for over twenty years. His fanzine, Hit A Guy With Glasses, enjoyed a one-issue run before he secured a job at Kerrang! in 1999. His writing has also appeared in Classic RockMetal HammerProg, and Planet Rock. His first book, So Much For The 30 Year Plan: Therapy? — The Authorised Biography is available via Jawbone Press.