Do snakes have ears? Can they hear?
Snakes do not have visible ears. Although this means that they do not hear sounds the same way we do, it does not mean that they are deaf. Snakes can actually hear to some extent.
Snakes do not have eardrums. However, they have the inner ear structures with cochlea. They can hear by feeling the vibrations which go alongside their jaws as they slither on the ground. Since the left and the right sides of a snake’s jaw can move in an independent way from each other, this means that the snake can sense the vibrations from the left side or from the right side, and that helps it determine the direction from which the sound is originating.
In addition, snakes have mechanoreceptors. The mechanoreceptors are sensory nerves. They are spaced throughout the skin of the whole body and they are connected to the spinal cord. This enables the snake to feel the vibrations which are carried through the sand or through the soil. These vibrations will move through the snake’s body and along its spinal nerves up to it brain where the snake recognizes it as sounds. These receptors are very sensitive. They can react to any stimuli in an instant way which lets the snake locate the source of the sound directly.
Moreover, a snake can pick up sound waves through the air. This is possible because the snake’s skull vibrates when a sound wave hits it. It was noticed that a snake may be able to hear low notes easier than higher ones. These impulse will move in a direct way form the skull to the inner ear, and there, the vibrations are sensed by the brain. There are even some snake owners who believe that their snake pets are able to react to the sound of their names.
Snakes have an extremely sensitive perception. They can sense that something is moving on the surface of both sand and soil, even if the thing is far. Snakes can sense things moving from a great distance and even pinpoint its location easily through the sound waves. These waves are tiny ripples on the sand. They radiate away from the source at a very fast pace of around 50 meters a second. Snakes have a sensitive vibratory reception and this helps them catch their prey very easily.
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