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Posted by on Oct 28, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

Can Snakes Hear?

Can Snakes Hear?

Snakes have no ears on the outside of their heads. This means they do not hear sounds as you do. So shouting and loud noises do not perturb them. But snakes are very sensitive to vibrations.

If there are vibrations in the ground near them, snakes notice and respond. When a snake seems to “hear” you coming, it is really feeling the vibrations of your footsteps.

It is now known that snakes can also hear noises or vibrations that travel through the air. The vibrations caused by noises are also called sound waves.

When people and most animals hear, sound waves strike the eardrum and go to the inner ear, which is sensitive to the sound waves or vibrations.

Snakes do not have eardrums, but their skins, muscles, and bones carry the sound waves to the inner ears. In this way snakes can hear sound carried by the air, but probably not as well as we can.

Since snakes are deaf, they cannot be charmed by music. The “dancing” cobras used by Hindu snake charmers are only responding to the sway of the charmer’s pipe and to the tap of his foot.

Content for this question contributed by Doug Krieger, resident of Greensburg, Decatur County, Indiana, USA