I love the sound of crickets chirping. It’s so relaxing—it’s one of my favorite sounds in nature. But, I often wonder how many chirps there are per minute, and what that means for temperature! So I did some research and found out that nobody really knows exactly how many chirps there are per minute, but Dolbear’s law might be the best way to figure it out.
While the name is pretty self-explanatory, it’s still worth explaining a bit. The snowy tree cricket is found in North America and its chirps are used as a thermometer by humans. Dolbear’s law states that the mean temperature in degrees Fahrenheit is approximately equal to the number of chirps made by a snowy tree cricket in 14 seconds plus 40.
If you’ve ever seen an episode of “Friends,” you’re probably familiar with this concept. However, there are some important differences between Dolbear’s law and what Rachel Green said in “Friends.” For starters, Dolbear’s law isn’t just a theory—it was actually tested and proven by scientists! When they tested this formula against real-world data (and not just sitcoms), they found that it was accurate within one degree of accuracy at temperatures between 59°F and 80°F (15°C – 27°C).
The chirping you hear from crickets is actually their wings rubbing together, a behavior known as stridulation. Crickets can produce different types of mating calls depending on the species and environment, with some crickets even having multiple calls that they use at different temperatures. For example, male field crickets have one call for courtship, another for territorial defense and fighting other males, and yet another when females are present.
The chirping is used to attract a mate or establish territory; it also helps to keep track of other males in the area so they don’t fight unnecessarily with each other over female attention and food sources (crickets are omnivores).
Why do crickets chirp?
You may have noticed that crickets chirp only at night. This is because they’re trying to attract mates or establish territory. They are most active during the summer when it’s hot and dry outside. At this time of year, a cricket has two options: find a place to hide or find food. If he finds both (and if the weather stays warm), then he can mate with females and lay eggs in moist soil for them to hatch in about three weeks.
How do crickets chirp?
Crickets chirp when they rub their wings together. Different kinds of crickets have different mating calls, which they use to attract mates and establish territory. To use this method of temperature reading, place a wooden board on the ground in a quiet area, such as your backyard or backyard. Put a cup upside down over it with a pebble inside so that it won’t blow away on windy days. Count the number of chirps (the same word for crickets) for fourteen seconds and add forty-five degrees Fahrenheit to that number; this should give you a pretty accurate idea of what temperature it is out there!
Just count the number of chirps in 14 seconds, then add 40 to get the temperature.
Amos Dolbear developed it in 1897.
Cicadas also can gauge the temperature to figure out when to emerge from the soil and for synchronicity and variance in the loudness and syncopation of their songs.