Suppose it’s 2 million years ago and you’re a humble A. africanus or P. robustus. You hear the sounds of the forest in sharp detail around you. You hear with critical clarity every nuance of a bird’s call, every grunt and whistle of your hunting party—and the slightest, subtlest cracking of a twig caused by your prey.
New research by anthropologists at Binghamton University have reconstructed how the skulls of these early pre-humans would have produced audition, the total process of hearing, and come up with this fascinating spectrum analysis:
They would have heard the world around them much like modern humans, except with a pronounced sensitivity up around 3 kiloherz, which is partly the realm of higher-pitched sounds like birds and crunching leaves.
More in-depth analysis by the researchers at Ancient Origins.