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North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars (Amorpha juglandis) look like easy meals for birds, but they have a trick up their sleeves-they produce whistles that sound like bird alarm calls, scaring potential predators away. At first, scientists suspected birds were simply startled by the loud noise. But a new study suggests a more sophisticated mechanism: the caterpillar's whistle appears to mimic a bird alarm call, sending avian predators scrambling for cover. When pecked by a bird, the caterpillars whistle by compressing their bodies like an according and forcing air out through specialized holes in their sides. The whistles are impressively loud - they have been measured at over $80$ dB from $5$ cm away from the caterpillar –  considering they are made by a two-inch long insect.

  1. North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars will whistle periodically to ward off predator birds they have a specialized vocal tract that helps them whistle
  2. North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars can whistle very$1$ loudly; the loudness of their whistles is shocking as they are very small insects.
  3. North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars, in a case of acoustic deception, produce whistles that mimic bird alarm calls to defend themselves.
  4. North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars, in a case of deception and camouflage, produce whistles that mimic bird alarm calls to defend themselves.
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