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Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in TellMeWhy |

Do Fish Have Ears?

Do Fish Have Ears?

Yes, fish have ears and can hear. But most fish hear very poorly. Fish hear, but their “ears” are on the inside. Bony fishes detect vibrations through their “earstones” called otoliths.

You cannot see a fish’s ears because they are buried deep inside its head. They pick up sounds in the water through their bodies and in their internal ear.

In addition, many kinds of fish also have tiny sense organs arranged in lines along the sides of their bodies which are called the lateral lines. This organ feels vibrations in the water. It lets the fish know what’s going on around it, even if it does not see or hear anything.

Through its lateral line organ, a fish can sense the vibrations of your footsteps along the banks of a stream and swim away. You do know now that fish have ears.

Can fish hear you when you talk to them? Yes and no. Since sound doesn’t travel well between air and water, loud talking or screaming will be barely noticeable to the fish underwater. They won’t get spooked or scared. However, sound that occurs underwater is loud and travels fast.

Can fish go deaf? Yes. We are causing fish to go deaf. The study, conducted by University of Melbourne graduate student Torrey Reimer, found that nearly half of the world’s farmed fish suffer from hearing impairments.

Content for this question contributed by Kristine Rappaport, resident of Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, USA