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Topic: Factoid: Crickets and Temperature
Replies: 4   Last Post: Dec 8, 1997 10:11 AM

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George W. Cobb

Posts: 124
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Factoid: Crickets and Temperature
Posted: Dec 8, 1997 8:21 AM
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Dear Rex:

Not only is there a strong near-linear relation between chirps per second
and temperature, but moreover, the slope of the regression line varies
from one species to another.

For more about crickets, see p. 187 ff in _Statistics in the Real World_,
by Richard J. Larson and Donna Fox Stroup, MacMillan, 1976, a wonderful
book that was far ahead of its time. They give data and cite _The Songs
of Insects_ by George W. Pierce, Harvard U.P., 1949, pp.12-21.

You can also find the data on p. 456 of _An Intro. to MAth. Stat. and its
Applications_ by Richard J. Larson and Morris L. Marx, 2nd ed.,
Prentice-Hall, 1986, another book that was ahead of its time.

George

George W. Cobb
Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA 01075
413-538-2401

On Mon, 8 Dec 1997, Rex Boggs wrote:

> Date: Mon, 08 Dec 1997 22:28:15 +1100
> From: Rex Boggs <r.boggs@mailbox.uq.edu.au>
> To: edstat <edstat-l@jse.stat.ncsu.edu>, apstat-l@etc.bc.ca
> Cc: edstat <edstat-l@jse.stat.ncsu.edu>
> Subject: Factoid: Crickets and Temperature
>
> I am browsing the web, and just came across this 'factoid':
>
> "Factoid: Crickets make their chirping sounds by rapidly sliding one
> wing over the other. The faster they move their wings, the higher the
> chirping sound that is produced. Scientists have noticed that crickets
> move their wings faster in warm temperatures
> than in cold temperatures. Therefore, by listening to the pitch of the
> chirp of crickets, it is possible to tell the temperature of the air.
> The table below gives the recorded pitch (in vibrations per second) of a
> cricket chirping recorded at 15 different
> temperatures. [the table was supplied as a gif file]."
>
> 1. What is a factoid?
>
> 2. Does anyone have access to any real cricket and temperature data?
> This 'factoid' sounds suspiciously to me like the 'life of light bulbs
> is normally distributed' story, ie endlessly repeated, but with no basis
> in reality. The phrase 'Scientists have noticed....' is a dead
> giveaway, I reckon.
>
> Cheers
>
> Rex
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> Rex Boggs | Floor 19, MST Unit
> 1997 Raybould Tutorial Fellow | Education Queensland
> | Education House
> r.boggs@mailbox.uq.edu.au | 30 Mary St
> Phone: 07 323 70411 | Brisbane QLD Australia
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> http://curriculum.qed.qld.gov.au/kla/eda/
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