Our ability to hear is something we use every day. We use it to evade danger, talk to loved ones, and ask our new puppy if they chewed our work shoes. The average hearing range for a human is between 20Hz to 20 kHz and uses three muscles to aid the hearing process, but where does that place us against the Top 10 animals with the best hearing? Let’s find out!

Moth

Specifically the Greater Wax Moth, has recently been recognised as having the best hearing in the world. The evolution of the moths hearing over time may be due to having to evade the threat of their main predator – the bat. Moths have the ability to hear a higher frequency than bats, allowing them to escape before they can be attacked.

Bat

Bats are well known for their exceptional hearing, but did you know they also have terrible eyesight? They heavily rely on their hearing to navigate their way to where they need to be. Using echolocation, a bat can squeak mid-flight and the vibrations they emit through squeaking bounces off any nearby surfaces back to the bat, allowing them to determine where that surface is.

Owl

Unlike bats, owls have both incredible hearing and eyesight. Their ears are crooked; one is placed slightly more forward and one is placed higher than the other. This different placement of their ears allows them to pin point exactly where a sound is coming from and assist them in capturing their prey.

Elephant

As well as having brilliant hearing, with an impressive average range of 6 – 12,000 Hz, an elephant will use its ears to help keep them cool! In the hot climates they live in, the large surface area and thinness of their ears help them to regulate their body temperature.

Dog

When you come home from a long day at work and your pet dog is wagging its tail, excited to see you, you’d think it’s because they’ve seen you walk through the front door, right? Not quite. A dog’s hearing is highly sensitive and can hear frequencies above that of what a human can hear. A dog’s hearing is so sensitive that they can usually hear you are home before you even open the door.

Cat

Not only is a cat’s hearing incredibly impressive, with an average range of between 45Hz – 64,000 Hz, they are also mechanically impressive. A human ear consists of three muscles and the three smallest bones in the body; a cat’s ears are controlled by around three dozen muscles per ear which allows them to rotate their ears 180 degrees! So if you feel like your feline friend isn’t listening to you, it may just be selective hearing!

Horse

Have you ever seen horses in a herd lying down all at the same time? There’s always one lookout in a herd to warn others of potential dangers around them. A horses hearing is essential to the protection of the herd. The main function of a horses hearing are to detect sound, determine where it is coming from, identify the sound and know whether the herd needs to be warned. In addition to hearing, horses also use their ears to communicate their mood!

Dolphin

Similar to bats, dolphins use echolocation to ‘hear’ where they are going. Dolphins emit a squeak that bounces off of surfaces back to its lower jaw. The bounce back of sound vibrations gives a sound map of what might be coming up ahead. The details in the sound maps through echolocation is quite impressive and allows dolphins to both hunt and avoid any danger that might be ahead.

Rat

Thanks to their ears being so close together, rats are masters at pinpointing the exact location of where a sound is coming from. A rats hearing range falls into the ultrasound category, these sounds are too high for the human ear to detect. Their hearing range is not only significantly better than humans, but it’s better than cats and dogs too!

Pigeon

Pigeons can hear infrasound, sounds that are much lower than what the human ear can detect. With the average pigeon being able to hear sounds as low as 0.5Hz, they can detect distant storms, earthquakes and even volcanoes; an impressive skill to have. Their exceptional hearing ability and navigation skills is why they are name the best navigators in the world.

While our hearing may not be as incredible as some of these animals, it is important that we hear the best we can! If you feel you may have a hearing loss, please feel free to call us on 8331 8047 to arrange your FREE hearing assessment!