A Bush Cricket, or Katydid. Image Source: Wiki.
Nature News reports that the fossilized remains of an extinct Jurassic bush cricket have enabled British researchers to reproduced the insect's song (Hat tip: Maria Popova):
The fossilized remains of long-extinct animals provide clear evidence of their size, stature and gait, but can we ever know what they sounded like? A reconstruction of the song sung by a fossilized katydid that lived 165 million years ago shows how it can be done. The results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).Like other crickets, male katydids (also known as bush crickets) sing to females through a technique called stridulation, in which noise is generated by rubbing a thick, ridged vein (called a file) on one wing against a ‘scraper’ on another. The length of the file, and the speed with which it is dragged over the scraper, determines the frequency of the noise it generates. The fossil katydid in the new study, dubbed Archaboilus musicus and described in the PNAS paper for first time, is exceptionally well preserved for such an old specimen, allowing for detailed measurements of the sound-making file.