Wonder of the Day: What Animals Don't Have Ears!

February 15, 2024

All animals have the ability to hear in one way or another, which is an important sense in terms of survival. However, there are some fascinating creatures that don’t have ears at all! In today’s Wonder of the Day, we will explore how these animals still manage to detect sounds using other mechanisms.

Several animals do not have external ears, including birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Instead of having a pair of pinnae (ears), these animals have small openings that allow sound to enter their bodies and be processed by the inner ears.

Fish also do not have ears, but this does not mean that they cannot hear. Rather, they have an incredible setup for hearing that includes a series of canals inside their heads lined with nerve hairs and containing three otoliths or ear stones. These help them to feel vibrations in the water.

In addition to the otoliths, fish can hear by using a system of air pockets in their body to help them navigate and detect their surroundings. In the same way, jumping spiders use ultra-sensitive hairs on their legs to detect sound waves.

Interestingly, some mammals also do not have ears, including the monotremes (egg-laying mammals such as the platypus and echidna) and marsupials (like kangaroos and koalas). While it may seem surprising that these animals would not be able to hear, we are now learning more about their amazing abilities and it turns out that they can indeed hear!

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