How Do Fargo Snakes Hear and Do They Have Ears???

You might notice how the Fargo snakes do not have visible ear. Therefore, you probably think that they will not be able to hear what we humans can do. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are deaf. They have the apparatus needed for hearing found in their head. It is connected to the jaw bone of the snake that allows them to remain alert on the vibration. This also allows them to listen to the sound that are in low frequency.

How Can the Snake Hear Without Ears?

Based on the behavioral studies conducted on North Dakota snakes, they found out that snakes can indeed hear the sounds in their environment. On humans, the sound wave will travel to our ear and will hit our eardrum. This will cause the movement of the small bones and the hair cells will vibrate. These vibrations will then travel to our brain that will help us identify the type of sound. However, the design of the snake' s listening capacity will be different.

The Snake' s Hearing Structure

The inner structure of the North Dakota snake' s ear is fully developed but it does not have eardrum. The inner ear of the Fargo snake will be connected to the snake' s jawbone. Their jaw will be resting on the ground when they are slithering. This will make it possible to determine any vibrations that are happening on the ground. Any footsteps produced by the predators and preys will produce a vibration that will indicate their presence.

Sound Travelling by Air

However, with regards to the sounds that are travelling through air, it is still not clear whether the animal can hear them or not. In order to help them learn more things about the snake' s hearing capacity, a study was conducted at Aarhus UniverFargo. It involves a ball python where an electrode is attached on the head of the reptile that will monitor the signs of neuron activities. They positioned a speaker at the cage of the snake. Whenever a sound will be played, the researchers will need to determine if the nerve of the snakes will have electrical impulses. While some of the sounds they produce will not be a sound that they will usually encounter when in the wild, the snake still produces a strong nerve impulse to the sounds.

With regards to the vibration that the sound produces, the animal seems to be unresponsive to it. This is probably because the vibrations are too insignificant to encourage any neural activities. Nonetheless, once the researchers connected sensor on the skull of the snakes, they discovered that the sound wave will result to a vibration in their inner ear. Unfortunately, further studies will need to be conducted to the different types of snake species in order to reach a better conclusion.

Apart form the hearing capacity of the North Dakota snake, their skin also has sense organ that may react to the vibration. There are some evidences that the snake can detect any vibration with their body. This enables them to have a better sense of their surroundings.

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