How crazy is this? This was definitely a really, really strange experiment at least when you first hear about it. And late Steve Irwin would not like this at all.
Researchers gave ketamine to alligators and put headphones on their badass heads just to learn more about how the dinosaurs used to perceive sounds. Ketamine is used as a street drug as well and it’s known as Special K.
Studying the alligators’ behavior
Experts were then able to study the alligators’ neural maps which are the ways used by sound to travel through the brain. The scientists studied these to see how alligators move through their habitat.
Such maps are essential for various vertebrates, and they’re really well developed in nocturnal predators such as barn owls and bats. These use sound in order to track down and find their prey.
This study focused on a concept that’s called interaural time difference (also known as ITD).
According to this concept, there is a small pause in the travel of sound to each ear. Even though this gap only lasts for a few microseconds, it can play a vital role for the predators who are looking for their next meal.
Some experts who took part in the experiment have been spending lots of years on the study of ITD and the ways in which it can help some species of animals to locate noises.
Birds, alligators, and dinosaurs are related because they are all successors of the archosaurs. This is a particular dinosaur line which prospered during the Triassic Period.
Learning about the dinosaurs
By harnessing the data that has been gathered from the experiment, this study allows the researchers to determine more about the auditory systems of the dinosaurs.
If you’re wondering what exactly the study involved, well, 40 American alligators from Louisiana have been sedated with ketamine and dexmedetomidine.
Then, earbuds and sensors were placed on their heads, allowing the researchers to analyze their response to sounds.
I have been blogging and posting articles for over eight years, but my passion for writing dates back in 2000. I am especially enthusiastic about technology, science, and health-related issues. When I’m not researching and writing the latest news, I’m either watching sci-fi and horror movies or checking out places worth visiting and building deep memories for later in life. I believe in empathy and continually improving myself.