Human’s might think they’re good at hearing, but compare their scores to any other animal’s on any hearing tests and the hearing tests results won’t lie. Some animals have excellent hearing, far surpassing human hearing abilities. How ware these measured? Hearing tests are given in a variety of ways, with the most common hearings tests using frequencies to determine the absolute hearing threshold.
Hearings tests have determined that bats have a hearing frequency of 20-120,000Hz. This is a HUGE range of hearing frequency for bats, which is important because they rely on their hearing to navigate the world, using sonar instead of sight to fly around. The bat will emit squeaks and listen for what the sounds bounces off of to determine where they are in space. Talk about acing hearing tests, this bat scores way higher than any human!
An owl’s hearing frequency ranges between 200-12,000 Hz. As they eat small rodents who are often scurrying around on the floor, they have to have keen hearing if they want to pinpoint exactly where the sound is coming from in order to eat. Owls not only depend on their hearing for food, but also listening for predators that might want to make them food!
Elephants have some of the best hearing in the world. Able to hear a frequency as low as 16Hz, they’re able to listen to sounds in the floor to learn if danger, friends, or foe are nearing them. Elephant ears do more than just hear, too. They also help regulate the elephant’s body temperature by allowing for blood to circulate in the large ears to cool down.
The dolphin has great hearing which helps it survive in the ocean. Like a bat, the dolphin uses sonar to “see” in the water. By using echolocation, they’re able to listen to the bounce back of sounds and create very detailed descriptions of what lies ahead of them, even if they’re in murky or dark waters. This is important in helping them find each other as well as avoid predators in the deep.
We knew our favorite feline friend would make the list of animals with the best hearing! Cats can hear a broad range of frequencies, 45-64,000 Hz, actually. 3 little muscles help control cat’s ears, allowing for each ear to independently move 180 degrees if necessary. This helps them precicely locate where potential food is, where predators are coming from, or when to hide from you!
Because cats have such good hearing, it’s safe to assume their prey, rats, have had to adapt to try to avoid predatory cats. One adaptation is their great hearing. Though not as precise as a cats, a rat is easily able to tell if a predator like a cat is lurking right around the corner. Fun fact, the genetic mutation of albinism doesn’t affect a rats hearing, whereas it affects the hearing of every other species that has the mutation.
Everybody probably has first hand experience of how well a dog can hear. Dogs hear at incredibly sensitive frequencies, allowing them to differentiate sounds MUCH better than humans can. They can hear so well they’re able to differentiate between their owners and a strangers steps, even if it’s outside. Does your dog always meet you at the door? They probably heard you coming before you were even close to the door!