Until long ago, researchers believed that most snakes could only feel echoes of sounds in the ground. This means that they will not be able to hear what is going on around them. However, a research group at the University of Queensland, Australia, came across very interesting and innovative data on this topic.
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Scientists have noticed that snakes are not only able to hear, but they can also react to everything that happens in the environment in which they live. But how is this possible if snakes do not have an external ear? understand the topic better.
Snakes can hear you. Be careful with what you say
“Since snakes do not have external ears, people usually think they are deaf and can only feel vibrations through the ground and in their bodies,” said researcher Kristina Zednik, part of the University of Queensland’s School of Biological Sciences.
To analyze the snakes’ hearing ability, the scientists played some sound clips in an acoustically prepared environment. From this, they observed the animals’ reactions about it.
“Our research – the first of its kind using eels that are free-moving, non-anesthetized – found that they interact with sound waves traveling through the air and possibly with human voices. […] We played a sound producing vibrations in the ground, while the other two were just sound. This means that we were able to test both types of ‘hearing’ – tactile hearing through the scales on the snakes’ abdomens and airborne hearing through the inner ear.”
How did the study work?
In all, 19 snakes were used in the research and the reactions were different for each species of animal studied. Only one of the snakes, the woma python, moved in the direction of the noise, while the others moved away from the source of the noise.
The Taipans were likely to retreat and go on the defensive. This may explain part of the behavior of animals in the wild.
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