Sounds of the Midnight Jungle

loading Sunda colugo.

A recent discovery on Penang Hill has scientists and primatologists squeaking with excitement.

When a team of scientists went hiking at night along The Habitat Penang Hill's trail to survey for bats, they sensed something very different on their ultrasound microphones. They picked up an unusual call – one unlike anything they were familiar with.

Searching for more clues, they tracked the sound to a Sunda colugo (Galeopterus variegatus) clinging on a tree trunk just a few metres away. The Sunda colugo, a nocturnal mammal which glides between trees, is in fact widespread in Malaysia but poorly studied or understood. Till very recently it was assumed that the colugo only communicated using audible sounds, but further ultrasound colugo recordings by the same team in the Penang Botanic Gardens confirmed that the arboreal mammal did indeed use ultrasound.

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