the guys on myth busters have done a real experiment and you should search their site for the correct answer!!! They do a lot of this type of thing.
You said they had the “correct answer”, implying that Uncle Cecil was incorrect. What was their conclusion, and how did it differ from Cecil’s column?
By my recollection,* they came up with a similar answer. Cecil’s was in 1998 (and was the search that first brought me to the online presence of Straight Dope). MythBusters didn’t begin til 2003.
Yeah, I saw the same show. I was wondering if kbutler had even bothered to read Cecil’s column on the subject.
I’m guessing **kbutler **is implying that they wouldn’t have even had to do the episode if they had just read Cecil’s answer. But they usually know the answer to the basic questions like this on Mythbusters, the point is to create entertainment along the way.
His implying looks just the opposite to my reading. ymmv
Cecil had an entertaining take and a factual answer. So did MythBusters, five years later. I enjoyed them both.
My biggest memory of that episode is that the Myth-Busters didn’t know the difference between a Chicken and a Duck: they expected the Duck to Quack when startled. Instead, it ducked down.
In the presence of a preditor, a duck will hide in the reeds. In the presence of preditors, Hens try to warn the rest of the flock: you get a reaction like putting a “fox in the henhouse”, Hens cluck when startled. Ducks don’t.
Not only that, but in one of the Mythbusters Q&A sessions on Youtube, Adam Savage indicated that they were fans of the Straight Dope site (so there’s a good chance they were aware of the original column).
I was aware of the Salford study. I’m not really sure why further research is needed unless you’re the sort of person who likes getting paid to poke ducks.
The job’s not all it’s quacked up to be.
Anyone that has been to Smith Rocks State Park in Oregon can confirm that they do in fact have an echo! We’ve watched many of them fly from one end of the canyon to the other because they quack and hear their own voices, then they fly toward the “other ducks”, only to find that the “other ducks” are now behind them in the OTHER end of the canyon so they fly BACK in the other direction they just came from! LOL They will fly back and forth in search of the “other ducks” until they get tired or just plain bored and leave.