Snakes can overhear people talking

January 9, 2012 2:30

Photo ITAR-TASS Vladimir Leron

Photo ITAR-TASS Vladimir Leron

Danish scientists after experiments with pythons found that reptiles can detect vibrations in the air, despite the lack of ears.
For a long time it was believed that snakes are deaf, because they have no ears. Scientists have dispelled this misconception.

Reptiles have almost complete analog of our inner ear with his usual ear bone and hair cells, but without the ear drum. Instead, their inner ear is connected to the jawbone. Jaw perceives vibrations from the ground and transfers it the inner ear — as a snake and hear. They just pick up tremors.

Group of biologists from the Danish University of Aarhus went further and found that snakes can hear music. The researchers conducted a series of experiments with a royal python. Using electrodes, they were read the activity of nerve cells that connect the inner ear to the brain python.

Snake hung over the speaker Serve sounds of different frequencies. According to Journal of Experimental Biology, the most active neurons reptile exhibit in response to sound diapason from 80 to 160 Hz, at about the lowest cello notes.

Using sensors attached to the head of the python, we found out that the air vibrations are quite capable to set in motion the ossicles to the inner ear. We can say that snakes can hear sounds over the skull.

Thus, it is possible not only to hear the snake human steps and talk. True, scientists can not yet answer the question of whether all of the nearly three thousand species of snakes have this ability, or is it a unique feature of pythons.

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