Like other senses, hearing is equally essential for humans and animals. A frog also needs hearing senses to communicate with other members of its species. The hearing ability of frogs has always been a great mystery for humans.
You see, frogs do not have any visible ear structure outside their body. But now, the question arises of how do frogs hear if they do not have ears. In this article, let us debunk the mystery of frogs superfine hearing mechanisms.-
Table of Contents
Do Frogs Hear?
Yes, frogs can hear thanks to their tympanic membrane, which is located behind the eyes on their heads. Also, frogs can comprehend their environment by picking up vibrations through their skin. In contrast, some frogs use their lungs or mouth lining to hear.
The tympanic membrane in frog and eardrum in humans works in the same manner. The vibration picking mechanism by moist and soft skin is also very sensitive. For this purpose, frogs have to maintain soft and moist skin. Therefore, you see a continuous shedding in frogs.
So, here is the truth. Although frogs do not have any external ears, they can hear you clearly only because of complete inner ears and hearing mechanisms. These ears are kind of hidden, and you cannot see them without any surgery. Particularly, ears in frogs are seen as a hole on each side of their head.
How Do Frogs' Inner Ears Look?
Now, as we know that frogs do not have external ears like us. So, let me explain that how their ears look inside the body.
Frogs do have ear openings in the back of their heads. The inner ear cavity of frogs is protected by thin tympanic membranes or eardrums, which help them to transmit sound vibrations. The eardrum of a frog is located on the side of the frog’s head rather than in the ear as it is in humans. The eardrum acts as a protection for the inner ear in this way. The eardrums of male frogs are larger than their eyes, while the eardrums of female frogs are smaller. The survival of frogs is greatly dependent on their hearing. Distress signals, mating sounds, and territorial warnings are among the things they listen for.
How Do Frogs Hear Without Ears?
Frogs do not have ears, but they have some hearing mechanisms. They can still croak and hear the sounds made by other members of their species. Researchers used X-ray imaging to demonstrate how they amplify sounds. The mouth of the frog acts as a resonance chamber and helps in amplification. This works because the tissue between the mouth cavity and the inner ear is extremely thin, making it easier to direct sounds to the inner ear through the auditory ossicles. The incoming sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, and the hair cells in the inner ear convert the vibrations into electrical signals, just like in humans. Sounds travel from the outer ear to the inner ear, then through the roof of the mouth to the inner section of the opposite ear. This suggests they hear the same thing twice.
Frogs use the process of selective hearing to adapt to their habitats and cancel out unnecessary noise. Sometimes, they also communicate with ultrasonic sounds. This can help them survive by allowing them to locate partners and predators without overburdening their sensory system. Selective hearing, on the other hand, might cause delays in responding to less common sounds in their environment, perhaps putting them in danger.
Is Frog's Hearing Connected With Lungs?
There are some types of frogs in which the Tympanum membrane is connected to the lungs. This membrane has a unique adaption that prevents them from producing loud sounds that is harmful to them. The lungs vibrate in reaction to sound, almost like a secondary ear, and are thought to be as sensitive as the tympanum itself.
This adaptation of the lungs helps frogs to produce loud sounds without hurting their sensitive eardrums. You’ve seen this adaptation in action if you’ve ever heard a bullfrog call or a toad warn its competitors. The lungs effectively do this by balancing the pressure difference between the eardrum’s outer and inner surfaces.
The lungs will play an important role in communication for the rest of a frog’s life. During the larval stage of a tadpole’s life, the lungs are used for pressure reception and sound detection. The lungs effectively serve as eardrums during this stage. The lungs will react to how sound compresses the air inside them as it moves underwater.
Frog's Hearing Underwater?
Frogs live in water as well as on land. Living underwater can affect the hearing ability of some frogs. Although not all frogs can hear well underwater, certain species have developed to do so. They can hear and make sounds underwater. To find partners more quickly, some frogs begin mating calls underwater. While communicating underwater, they avoid the noise generated by the other frogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why Is Hearing Important For Frogs?
Frogs require hearing for a variety of purposes. During mating season, they need to detect mating sounds. To protect themselves from predators, hearing senses enable them to locate and avoid predators and hear warning calls from other frogs about predators. For food, they need to sense the footsteps of their prey.
What is the difference between frog and human ears?
Frogs and humans do not have the same ear structure and hearing mechanism. The notable difference between frog and human ears is that frogs do not have an external hearing structure, sometimes referred to as the outer ear. We do, however, have eardrums and inner ears in common.
- Why Do Frogs Not Have Outer Ears?
Nature is kind for not giving them outer ears. Frogs do not have outer ears because they would become clogged with water and dirt if they did. The tympanic membrane, which is located behind the eyes of frogs’ heads, allows them to hear both on land and underwater. This membrane only allows sound to pass through while keeping water and dirt out.
- Is Partial Hearing Present In Frogs?
Frogs only hear things what is important to them. It means they hear some sounds very well while don’t hear other things well. The distance between the eardrum and inner ear of frogs is short, so they hear low frequencies of sounds. At the same time, a larger distance is required to hear sounds with high frequency.
Hearing for all the organisms is necessary. However, not all of them have long, big ears like that of elephants. Some get it through vibrations, some by sounds, echos, and other amazing sources. You see, frogs have a really smart hearing system. Also, as a pet owner, you need to take care of all the sounds that are reaching your frog’s aquarium. Loud music, the sound of heavy traffic, vibrations, and the voices of predators or other large creatures can really disturb them. So, make every effort to ensure that your frog lives in a peaceful place.
I hope by the end of this article you got to know multiple new facts about the “Prince Frog.” Want me to talk about any particular stuff? Comment down or email us. I would love to share what I learned in these two decades of experience with amphibians and reptiles.
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