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What's the smallest organism (animal, insect, or any living creature) that can produce voice. And not just make sound, but has an organ to specifically to create sound, like how us mamals have vocal chords.

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How do you differentiate between an animal that makes sound and one that has a sound-producing organ? If a beetle makes a sound by rubbing its wings together, it has a sound-producing structure, does it not, even if that structure is not dedicated to only making sound? –  MattDMo Jun 22 '14 at 5:15
@MattDMo Does it know it's producing the sound, i.e. is there a purpose for it do make sound, or is it a by-product of rubbing its wings? –  laggingreflex Jun 22 '14 at 5:18
would you consider ultrasonics as voice too? –  WYSIWYG Jun 23 '14 at 8:33
@WYSIWYG Sure, sound is sound. Although, if it doesn't become "too broad" of a question, the best would be an animal from each of both categories.. (or all three if infrasonic is also considered) –  laggingreflex Jun 23 '14 at 8:45
I rolled back the question to the original, which is not a duplicate. –  kmm Jul 30 '14 at 0:17

2 Answers 2

I will go with lesser water boatman(Micronecta scholtzi).

The loudest of everything as well as small.

Size: 0.07-inch (2-millimeter)

  • Produces the highest sound by size ratio.
  • It's sound is almost equivalent to pounding jackhammer at two feet distance.

Source and Image Courtesy:

So Small, So Loud: Extremely High Sound Pressure Level from a Pygmy Aquatic Insect (Corixidae, Micronectinae)



If we consider voice, I will go with Paedophryne amauensis

  • Smallest frog an known vertebrate
  • size: 7.7 mm (0.30 in)

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I'm putting my bets on the Pistol Shrimp (Alpheus heterochaelis) They can be grow 3cm to 5cm Long which is incredibly small for the amount of db it can create.

Their sound is a by-product of their large claw snapping shut and creating a cavitation bubble that creates a lot of pressure and then produces up to a recorded 218 Decibels. This "click" or "pop" of the bubble only lasts less than 1 millisecond. It also produces around 5000k in heat from the popping of the bubble.

(According to the Daily Mail which I honestly may say is probably not the most trustworthy source of accurate information

Wikipedia Article : )

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Wow! Watch them in action. –  Devashish Das Jul 29 '14 at 12:36

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