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The Sound Producing Organ in Birds | Syrinx | Diagram | Note

sound producing organ syrinx of birds

  • Syrinx is the sound-producing organ in birds.
  • The vocal organ or voice box or singing organ of birds is the syrinx.
  • Syrinx also is known as pan-pipes and it is a bony structure.
  • It is located at the posterior end or base of the trachea.
  • It is a unique characteristic of birds as it does not occur in other vertebrates.
  • Syrinx consists of an expanded chamber, called the tympanum. The walls of the tympanum are supported by the last three or four rings of the trachea and the first half ring of each bronchus.
  • The mucous membrane of each bronchus forms an internal tympaniform membrane and an external tympaniform membrane.
  • The internal tympaniform membrane is associated with the inner wall and the external tympaniform membrane is associated with the external wall.
  • A pair of intrinsic syringeal muscles and a pair of sterno-tracheal muscles control these membranes.
  • The intrinsic syringeal muscles arise from the sides of the trachea and the sterno-tracheal muscles arise from the sternum.
  • The voice is produced by the vibrations of the tympaniform membranes.
  • During expiration, the air expels from the lungs, passes between the membranes, and produces sound.
  • The pitch of the voice is altered by changes in the tension of the internal and external tympaniform membranes.
  • The syrinx is absent in ostriches, storks, and some vultures.
  • Some species of birds such as parrots, mynas, and crows can mimic human speech with the help of their syrinx. 

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