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Weather Wonders: Crickets tell temperature

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Can crickets tell you the temperature?

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It's time for more weather folklore and this time, it's actually true! Did you know that crickets can give a current outside temperature observation, just by chirping? Let's dive into the science.

In 1987, Amos Dolbear published, "The Cricket is a Thermometer", which talks about temperature and how it affects a cricket's chirp. Crickets are cold blooded insects that take on the temperature of their surroundings.

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A cricket's chirp is vital to their livelihood, whether sounding danger or courting a mate. A chirp is produced by rubbing the edges of their wings together. Chemical reactions inside their body allow muscles to contract, thus causing a chirp. Warmer temperatures allow for easy movement of muscle contractions, leading to more chirps. The cooler the temperature, the less chirps produced.

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Alright, so how can crickets tell the outside temperature? Count the number of chirps you hear in 14 seconds. Then add 40 to the number of chirps you heard. The number you get will be close to the temperature outside.

Example: 40 chirps + 40 = 80 degrees Fahrenheit

So next time you hear a cricket chirp, take out a stop watch and count the chirps. You just may be amazed at the science!

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