The ear is an incredible organ, enabling us to enjoy conversations, music, and all the other sounds that surround us. But it’s not just human ears that do amazing things. The animal kingdom is full of all different kinds of ears that help their owners communicate, find food, escape predators, and much more.
We’re taking look at some fun hearing facts about animals, inspired by Signia’s “handimals” – the human hands painted like animals that showcase our Signia Nx hearing aids.
Toucan: Like other birds, toucans have funnel-shaped ears hidden behind special feathers called auriculars that protect the hearing organs. Besides reflecting and enhancing sounds, these feathers also help to reduce wind noise and keep wind and debris out while flying. Toucans also rely on their loud calls to communicate with other toucans, and can be heard miles away.
Giraffe: While it’s been long thought that giraffes don’t verbalize, it turns out much of their vocalizations are done infrasonically, meaning they’re at such low frequencies that humans are unable to hear them. However, giraffes can hear each other’s infrasonic communications across long distances, enabling them to warn others about potential danger.
Zebra: Zebras are known to have excellent hearing, which is critical to sensing an approaching predator. Their hearing ability is helped by the fact that they can turn their ears in nearly all directions. A zebra’s ears, which are larger and rounder than horses, can also be used to communicate their mood, depending on their position.
Parrot: Compared to humans, parrots hear a smaller range of frequencies, but their ears allow them to recognize sounds and tones at a much higher level. They also hear more quickly than we do, perceiving sound at 1/200th of a second, compared to 1/20th of a second for humans. At least one species of parrot will even laugh when it hears another parrot laugh!
Flamingo: Hearing is crucial in forming bonds between flamingo parents and their chicks. After hatching, the chick imprints its parents’ distinct calls in its brain, and vice-versa. This enables the parents to identify their chick through its unique vocalizations, and for the chick to hear its parents from as far as 100 meters away, even among the calls of thousands of other birds in their colony.
Want to learn more fun facts about animal hearing? Check out our previous post: https://www.signiausa.com/2017/04/27/fun-facts-hearing-animal-insect-edition/