Snake Hearing Explanation

Hand holding snake

Because have no external ears and don't seem to respond to stimuli, it was once thought that they couldn't hear much, if at all. Scientific study, on the other hand, refutes this prevalent notion.

Snake Ear Anatomy

Many people are unaware that snakes have ears, although they do exist. Snakes, like other reptiles, have two ears just behind their eyes. They don't have external ears (also known as ear flaps, pinnae, or auricles), but they do have little ear apertures on the sides of their heads. There is a functioning inner ear inside each small ear-hole, but no eardrum (tympanic membrane) or middle ear.

How Snakes Hear

Snakes, unlike humans, do not have external ears (pinnae) or eardrums, but they do have completely developed inner ear components. They have a bone in their jaws called the quadrate bone in addition to their inner ear components. While slithering on the ground, this bone twitches slightly in reaction to vibrations.

It was unknown for many years if snakes could hear noises other than ground vibrations. Since then, research has revealed that this quadrate bone responds to both airborne and ground vibrations (thought to be due to spinal nerves that have conducted the vibrations from the skin recognizing them and causing the quadrate bone to vibrate, referred to as somatic hearing). This movement is conveyed (through bones) to the inner ear, which subsequently sends impulses to the brain, which are perceived as sound.

What Snakes Can Hear

Pitch (high or low sounds) is measured in Hertz (Hz), while decibels indicate how quiet or loud sounds are (dB). Researchers have mostly used Hertz to evaluate whether or not a snake has the capacity to hear. Snakes may sense low frequency airborne and ground vibrations through their inner ears (in the 50 to 1,000 Hz range), according to some experts, but much remains unknown about what a snake can hear. Some research reveal that maximal sensitivity is between 200 and 300 Hz, while others show it to be between 80 and 160 Hz.

A person with excellent hearing can detect frequencies ranging from 20 to 20,000 Hz. Meanwhile, the lowest note a pipe organ can play is 20 to 25 Hz, which is similar to a low cat purr, while the highest note a piano can make is roughly 4,100 Hz. We now know that snakes can only hear what we would consider lesser noises thanks to this information.

Because different snake have been utilized in different experiments, it's impossible to make a general statement about all snakes and hearing. Because all snakes have the same ear architecture, we presume they all have identical hearing ability. However, snakes from various settings may be able to hear distinct ranges of sounds.

We can conclude that a pet snake can hear you speak to them since the peak sensitivity of a snake's hearing is in the 200 to 300 Hz region and the typical human voice is about 250 Hz. This might back up what many snake owners claim: that their pets can recognize their names when they are called.

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