Humans might be highly evolved in almost every sense of the word, but not when it comes to hearing. There are plenty of creatures, from the mighty elephant to the tiny moth, that have better hearing abilities than people. Click through to learn more about 10 animals with some of the best hearing on Earth.
Hearing Frequency: 20-120,000 Hz
Fun Fact: Bats have terrible night vision. Luckily, they’ve evolved the ability to navigate using something called echolocation. When a bat is flying at night it emits a series of squeaks that then bounce back into the bat’s ears, giving it an idea of the distance, size and movement of an object or prey.
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Hearing Frequency: 200-12,000 Hz
Fun Fact: Some owl species have crooked ear openings, with one sitting slightly higher and another slightly more forward than the other. This allows them to better pinpoint where exactly a sound is coming from when it's on the prowl for scurrying prey.
Hearing Frequency: 16-12,000 Hz
Fun Fact: An elephant’s ears do more than allow the animal to hear. Their large, thin ears help regulate its internal body temperature. Blood circulates through an elephant’s ears, helping it cool down in hot climates.
Hearing Frequency: Up to 300,000 Hz
Fun Fact: Scientists aren’t sure why the Greater Wax Moth has evolved ultrasonic hearing. Thus far, it has the best hearing of any organism discovered on Earth. However, they think it has to do with the species' No. 1 predator: the bat. The Greater Wax Moth can hear at a frequency 100 kHz above that of the bat, allowing it to hear the bat early enough to evade being eaten.
Hearing Frequency: 75-150,000 Hz
Fun Fact: Similar to a bat, a dolphin can "see" with sounds. They have excellent eyesight and hearing, but also have the ability to use echolocation. A dolphin will squeak and listen for the sound to bounce back into its lower jaw, giving it an impressively detailed audible description of what’s up ahead.
Hearing Frequency: 200-76,000 Hz
Fun Fact: The genetic mutation of albinism in other animals, like cats and humans, causes impairments in hearing, but not in rats. Though an albino rat’s vision and sense of smell is impaired because of the mutation, its hearing appears to remain intact.
Hearing Frequency: 45-67,000 Hz
Fun Fact: A dog’s hearing is incredibly sensitive and acute. Because of its hearing frequency, canines respond better to higher pitches, and they can differentiate between your footsteps and the footsteps of a stranger. Dogs can also tell when you’re home long before you walk in the door.
Hearing Frequency: 55-33,000 Hz
Fun Fact: Horses use their ears to communicate their moods. They can also rotate each ear up to 180 degrees to pinpoint where sounds are coming from. This is an important evolutionary mechanism that warns a horse when it must flee quickly to avoid a perceived danger.
Next: 10 Animals With Great Camouflage
Hearing Frequency: As low as 0.5 Hz
Fun Fact: Pigeons can process sounds at much lower frequencies than humans, allowing them to detect distant storms and volcanoes.
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