Snakes are not only deaf, they hear in stereo!


17/05/2008

Physicists at the University of Munich in Germany and the University of Topeka, Kansas (University Munich, Germany; University of Topeka, Kansas) found strong evidence that snakes can hear through their jaws. There is a myth that snakes are deaf, because they have no external ears. But in fact, these reptiles fully developed inner ear system, which includes a fully functional cochlea, which is closely associated with the lower jaw.

While the snake lying on the ground, her jaw can detect the slightest variations in the amplitude of one angstrom (!) That are transformed into sound waves are transmitted and the inner ear.

Reference: Angstrom - a unit of length equal to one hundred-millionth share centimeters. Named in honor of the Swedish physicist Jonas Angstrom (1814-1874 gg.)

Scientists have conducted studies on the anatomy geometric horned vipers (horned desert viper), and studied the ground motion caused by moving routine for these snakes prey. The researchers were able to prove mathematically that hearing a bunch of "jaw-snail" is highly sensitive to the frequencies of the oscillations corresponding to the movement of production on the ground. In addition, the results of the analysis, it became known that the ability of the proverbial snake’s mouth open wide and swallow prey whole means that the right and left side of the jaw can detect vibrations independently, ie snakes can hear stereo sound.

The study provided data supporting the theory that during stimulation of the cochlear auditory neurons create a map of the area surrounding the snake. This means (and experiments to prove it) that some snakes are able to catch prey, using only the perceived sound vibrations. That is, ability to capture the lower jaw tremors should be regarded as an important sensory activity, through which a snake can generate a visual map-based audio data. Interesting science and technology news only on pages of our portal.

Original: APS.org (Snakes hear in stereo)


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