The Gator Symphony

The Gator Symphony

Tuba players test the theory that the musical note B-flat can send alligators into mating-season ecstasy (St. Petersburg Times)

As with many males in the animal kingdom, alligators make a big show during mating season. Roaring like thunder is just one way to attract a lady gator.

In this short video by the St. Petersburg Times, a reporter tests an obscure scientific observation: can the musical note B-flat, known to have a mysterious effect on nature, get a male gator worked into a frenzy?

For the experiment, a Times reporter recruited two professional tuba players to woo male alligators at Gatorland, a central Florida tourist attraction, home to hundreds of the ancient reptiles.

The tuba players try their luck, belting out the infamous note from a variety of vantage points. Initially the company of gators appear curious but totally unwilling to bellow back. But when the tuba players target the water in place of the animals, playing a B-flat, two octaves below middle C, the male alligators roar back from all over the lake.

This video is part of St. Petersburg Times’ columnist Jeff Klinkenberg’s “Real Florida” series about Florida culture and the people who make the state unique.

CHANNEL: St. Petersburg Times /

Length: 2:04

Video by Maurice Rivenbark
Editing by Jack Rowland
Story by Jeff Klinkenberg
Photos by Lara Cerri


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