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Can Crickets Really Tell You the Temperature Outside?


Question: Can Crickets Really Tell You the Temperature Outside?
Male crickets "chirp" for multiple reasons including warning off predators and attracting female mates. But the sound of the actual chirp is due to a hard rigid structure on one of the wings. When rubbed together with the other wing, this is the distinctive chirp you hear at night.

But can crickets really indicate outside temperatures?

Yes! Anyone outside at night listening to crickets “sing” can determine the outside temperature with a small math problem.

First, count the number of chirps a cricket makes in 15 seconds. Record this number or remember it.

Next, add 37 to the number you wrote down.

That’s it! You now have a good estimate of the temperature outside in Fahrenheit!

The idea was first studied by A. E. Dolbear in 1898. He systematically studied various species of crickets to determine their "chirp rate" based on temperatures. Using T for temperature in degrees Fahrenheit and N for number of chirps, Dolbear published his results in the form of an equation - T=50+[(N-40)/4] This equation for cricket chirping is now known as Dolbear's Law.

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