How animals hear sound – Facts and Information

How animals hear sound – Human beings are able to hear the sounds by multiple vibrations through a pair of ears. Do Animals too hear the sounds which may be high frequency or low frequency? Let’s discuss the details in this article. 

Mostly the sound is measured by a unit called Decibel and human beings hear a sound from 20Hz to 20,000 Hz. And some sounds that we are unable to hear properly and some sounds we feel are irritated and cause stress. This article explains clearly about the sense by ears, which means How do animals hear a sound?

What is meant by Hearing?

Everyone knows well that one of the sense organs in our body is used for collecting the information from the environment and processing the information into the signals to the brain and that helps us to understand clearly about matter.

Mostly hearing is used by numerous vibrations by interpreting the environment, whereas the sounds are transferred by Air, water, and any other solid objects.

Hearing organs like ears are just one-way animals can interpret sounds in the environment, and while we vertebrates trace all the ears to one ancestor. Invertebrates have independently evolved ears over and over again and over 24 times in just insects alone so like vision hearing is a spectrum some animals have very sensitive to hearing and some don’t.

Animals hear sound – Ear Requirements

For those animals having hearing organs are ears, they have a minimum of two requirements to work. A sensor that turns the vibrations into the nerve signals and the brainpower interpret the signals into different sound qualities, most animals hear that hear even if they don’t have what we’d call ears rely on special hair cells which are also called hair-like structures called stereocilia sound vibrations causes the stereocilia. Sound vibrates stereocilia to sway which leads to the hair cells sending signals to nearby neurons that relay information to the brain. 

Parts and their function in Ears

Our hair cells are in our internal ear, the part that does the actual hearing that sits behind the thin membrane or eardrum. In Mammals of Vertebrates, it is divided into the external ear, the internal ear, and the middle ear which is called a tympanic membrane. Pinna is at outer. It has a flappy appearance. It is called the pinna and its appearance looks like a satellite, and its working is that amplifies and directs the sound through our internal ear. This Pinna is present mostly in mammals, and this pinna does not present in some vertebrates especially reptiles and amphibians, instead, their ears are simply opened.

Aquatic Animals hear sounds

Fish have no external ears; they hear the sound by the internal ears and make a movement. Some animals have gone different, for example, Frogs and Toads usually have internal ears but they are more than 200 species that have reduced and lost many internal ear parts. So, these ears are mostly earless toads so they will make sound by croaking so they can be heard by vibrations. 

Classification of animals hear Sound by Wavelength

Based on the classification in Wavelength, sounds can be classified into 3 types of its animals hear sound which are:-

  • Near Field – Invertebrates
  • Transition 
  • Far-Field – Arthropods

Frequencies Ranges

Based on the frequencies we can say that how animals hear sound by the number of particles vibrates a material in a certain period of time, like the frequency of human being is 20 to 20000 Hz

Infrasonic Sound

Infrasonic Sound is the sound that frequency is less than 20 Hz. Ex: Elephant

Ultrasonic Sound

Ultrasonic Sound is the sound that frequency is more than 20000 Hz Ex: Bat, Dog

Bat can hear at the frequency of sound ranges from 30000 Hz

How do some animals hear sound? and how does it behave and move?

Arthropods ears are usually in the ground, when other animals coming near to arthropods means it will get some vibrations so this will be easily sensed by Arthropods and starts moving.

Even jellyfish have some sensors that sense and transfer signals. But still, now we can’t say that they have hearing senses.

In the beginning, many scientists have come to know only vertebrates are able to hear the sounds but later proved that some invertebrates also hear a sound which is experimented with by C.H. Turner.

Experiment by C.H. Turner about animals hear sound

In the year 1907 C.H. Turner has experimented using ants, cotton balls, lighting in a room that he watched the sense of ants, he sensed by creating some sort of sounds at different distances and also he experimented without light, after that experiment he came to know that the ants are moving based upon the sounds. Then he later investigated the use of moths, using a whistle he tested and finally he found that moths also could hear the sound, but it wasn’t able to hear the low-frequency sound, it was only able to hear high-pitched sounds only. At the end of all his experiments, he came to know many insects are able to hear the sounds at a certain frequency by airborne.


I hope everyone who reads this article that how animals hear sound with clear idea was helpful and if anyone has doubts, kindly comment about any ideas or queries related to the article.

C.H. Turner’s experiment is highly helpful that we had referred to for creating this article.

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