The loudest creatures in the animal kingdom: In pictures

Animals that are louder than passing trains and fire alarms are more common than you'd think.

When you think of a noisy animal, you probably think of your neighbour's dog barking at 2am. But some animals can make sounds louder than a gunshot, sirens or even a rocket launch.

The human ear can handle up to 120dB before permanent damage is done, but any sound over 110dB can be dangerous, even for short periods.

Take a look through our gallery of some of the noisiest animals around, and the ones you might want to avoid if you don't want to damage your hearing.

Howler monkey - 90dB

Black howler monkeys have long beards, thick hair and a grumpy attitude. Their howls canbe heard from 3km away, and are meant to act as a warning for other groups of howler monkeys to stay away.

Domestic dog - 113dB

Dog barks are generally pretty loud. But the recordfor the loudest bark is held by a golden retriever called Charlie, who lives in Australia. His bark was recordedhitting a massive 113.1dB back in 2012.

Check out a news story about Charlie from 2012.

Lion - 114dB

Lions have many different ways to communicate, including purring, growling and meowing. But their roar is fearsome, reminding everyone within 8km that they are nearby, and probably quite hungry.

Take a listen to an amazing lion roar.

Greater bulldog bat - 140dB

The great bulldog bat, also known as the fishing bat, is one of the loudest bat species. They can emit echolocation signals up to 140dB, which help them hunt for prey. This also makes them louder than exploding fireworks.

Watch the great bulldog bat hunt using its echolocation.

Tiger pistol shrimp - 210dB

This tiny shrimp can drown out a gunshot at one hundred paces, despite only being 4 to 5cms in length. They make their noise by smashing together their claws (chela), which makes a loud sound followed by a bang. Underwater, this powerful sound wave can knock out or even kill prey outright.

Check out how these shrimp use their extreme noise weapon to hunt.

Sperm whale - 233dB

The sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales, at an average adult size of 15m in length. This huge mammal can vocalise at over 230dB underwater, which is louder than a rocket launch or a plane taking off.

More images from BBC Science Focus:

Loudest relative to size: Lesser water boatman - 99dB

The male lesser water boatman can make a sound as loud as a passing train just by rubbing its penis on its abdomen. It produces this intense sound in order to attract a mate, but considering the species is smaller than a pea, it is probably more likely to deafen them.

And finally... the most annoying

Ok, so a lyrebird is not exactly the loudest bird on the planet. But with its mimicry of natural and artificial sounds, it is very unique. The lyrebird sings its own songs, and combines this with other bird song it has picked up. Captive birds have been recorded singing such classics as 'car alarm' and 'chainsaw'... which is probably not going to attract many mates.

Check some Guinness world records of all time here: World Records. Do you have any question or feedback about the world record above? If so please let us know here: Contact Us

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