Examining a frog reveals that it has no earlobes. Yet it seems to be capable of hearing (and making calls to other frogs that are obviously meant to be heard). This leads to the interesting questions on whether frogs have ears, how they are able to hear, and what they are able to hear. In this article, we address all those questions related to frogs’ hearing.
Do frogs have ears? The answer is that frogs and toads do have hearing structures. To be sure, they don’t have earlobes similar to the ones we have. But a frog does have an external eardrum. The external eardrum in question is called a tympanum, and is capable of picking vibrations. Besides being capable of hearing, frogs are also able to make sounds. They have voice boxes, through which they produce sounds, which they then boost in their vocal sacs.
After sounds are picked through the external eardrums, they are ultimately transmitted to the inner ears, where they are converted into electrical signals. The electrical signals are then transmitted to the frogs’ brains for processing.
Do Frogs Have Ears?
The simple answer is ‘yes’. Frogs do have ears. But frog ears are quite different from most other animals’ ears. In most other animals, the ear typically has 3 parts – namely, the outer ear (mainly the earlobes), the middle ear (mainly the eardrum) and the inner ear (mainly the bony structures that process sound signals). The ear of frog is different in that it only has the middle and inner sections. It lacks the outer bit. That is why a frog is capable of hearing, yet it has no earlobes.
So in the frog’s hearing system, the eardrum is the outermost structure. Typically, the tympanum frog uses to hear is to be found just behind the eyes. This eardrum picks vibrations, which it then transmits to the inner ear. The inner ear converts those vibrations into electrical signals. It then passes them onto the frog’s brain, for processing. In between, the frog’s lungs are involved – mainly serving the purpose of filtering the sounds to be processed.
There are a few exceptions to all this, of course. One exception is the Gardiner’s frog, which uses its mouth for hearing.
One may expand the question beyond frogs and ask, do amphibians have ears? And the answer here would be more complex. That is because some amphibians like axolotls don’t have ears at all. But in most of the amphibians that do have ears, we typically find a structure similar to the one in frogs. That is where you find a tympanic membrane on the outside, for picking sounds, which then pass onto an inner ear for processing.
What Are Frog Ears Called?
The do frogs have ears question is typically followed by another one on what frog ears are called. Thus when the person who posed the do frogs have ears question is told that they do, the next logical question for them is usually on what the frog ears are called.
So, indeed, what are frog ears called? The answer is that there doesn’t seem to be a special name for frog ears. They are just ears – the only difference being that they lack earlobes. In a frog, the tympanum is the outermost hearing structure. You will see it if you look carefully just behind a frog’s eyes.
Do Frogs Have Ears On The Side Of Their Heads?
The do frogs have ears question is typically followed by another one, on where exactly the frog ears are to be found. Thus, when the person who posed the do frogs have ears question is told that the frogs do indeed have ears, the next question that arises is as to where exactly those ears are to be found.
This especially leads to curiosity, as to whether frogs have ears on the side of their heads.
So, do frogs have ears on the side of their heads? The answer is ‘yes’. Frogs have ears – or rather, subtle hearing structures – on the side of their heads, just behind their eyes. These, of course, are not in the form of earlobes.
Rather, if you check carefully just behind the frog’s eyes, you will see a membrane with an oval shape. This is the frog’s eardrum, and it is the structure through which the frog is able to pick sounds from its surroundings.
Can Frogs Hear Humans?
The nature of a frog’s hearing system is such that it filters out most sounds, except those that are necessary for the frog’s survival. Thus, a frog’s hearing system best picks things like mating calls, territorial warnings and distress calls from other frogs. It mostly filters everything else out. This is to say that human speech undergoes such filtration/cancellation. The frogs may perceive human speech, but they filter it out.
It is important to remember that frogs have a tympanic membrane that picks sounds from their surroundings. This membrane is just behind the frog’s eyes. It then transmits the sounds to the frog’s inner ear structure for processing.
But, before going to the inner ear, the sound passes through the frog’s lungs. Ultimately, only the sounds that are most relevant to a frog’s survival proceed to the processing stages: in the inner ear and the brain.
Therefore if you have a pet frog, you can still keep on talking to him. But don’t expect him to respond to your voice the way, say, your dog responds.
How Do Frogs Hear?
Firstly, the tympanum that is just behind the frog’s eyes picks the sound vibrations. Then the vibrations get to the inner ear structure, typically after passing through the lungs. In the inner ear structure, they undergo conversion into electrical signals – which then pass onto the brain for processing.
Thus, it is the tympanic membrane on a frog that is responsible for picking the vibrations. And it is the inner ear that is responsible for converting those vibrations into electrical signals. Finally, it is the brain that is responsible for processing the electrical signals, to make sense of the sounds.
One may then ask, do frogs have good hearing? And the answer is that frogs have good hearing: when it comes to things that matter to them. Those are things like mating calls, distress calls and territorial warnings calls.
For such things, frogs have excellent hearing. But when it comes to other things that the frogs don’t perceive as being very essential to their survival, their hearing becomes poor. This is because the frogs’ hearing systems filter out the ‘non-essentials’.
Do Frogs Have External Ears?
Typically, the do frogs have ears question comes from people who specifically want to know whether frogs have external ears. And the answer is that frogs don’t have earlobes. But they do have tympanum membranes, just behind their eyes, through which they are able to pick sounds. So if by ‘external ears’ one means earlobes, then we can assert that frogs don’t have external ears.
How Do Frogs Hear Without External Ears?
Though frogs don’t have external ears, they do have tympanic membranes. Those are just behind their eyes. It is through those tympanic membranes that the frogs pick sound vibrations from their surroundings.
Thereafter, the sound vibrations travel to the frogs’ inner ear structures. There they undergo conversion into electrical signals. The electrical signals then proceed onto the brain, for processing.
Do All Frogs Have Ear Holes?
While tackling the do frogs have ears question, it is important to sink deeper, and explore the aspect of whether all frogs have ear holes. And in responding, it is imperative to point out that frog’s actually don’t have earholes.
Nature has equipped the frog with ears that don’t come with holes. What we do find in frogs instead are tympanic membranes through which they pick sounds. They then transfer them to the inner structures for processing. But they don’t have ear holes.
Some, like Gardiner’s frogs, may not even have the typical tympanic membrane behind the eyes. Instead, they ‘hear with their mouths’.
Can Toads Hear?
The person posing the do frogs have ears question may also have an interest in knowing whether toads are capable of hearing. And the answer is yes. Toads are capable of hearing. They have hearing systems similar to frogs.
This is to say that a toad typically has tympanic membranes just behind its eyes. Through those, it picks sounds which it then passes onto the inner ear structure for processing.
Do Chubby Frogs Have Ears?
Yes, chubby frogs have ears. They don’t have earlobes, for sure, but they have eardrums (tympanic membranes) just behind their eyes for picking sounds.
Do Tree Frogs Have Ears?
Tree frogs may not have earlobes similar to ours. But they do have structures, on the sides of their heads (behind their eyes) through which they perceive sounds.
Do Frogs And Toads Have Ears?
Much depends on what you mean by ‘ears’. If you mean earlobes, then frogs and toads don’t have them. But if you mean structures for hearing, then frogs and toads do have them. They have external eardrums, through which they pick sound vibrations and then pass them onto their inner ears for processing.
Do Green Tree Frogs Have Ears?
Green tree frogs are capable of hearing. For sure, they don’t have earlobes. But when you examine one of them carefully, you will notice a membrane just behind its eyes. It is this which serves the purpose of picking sounds.
Do Bullfrogs Have Ears?
Like all other frogs, bullfrogs don’t have earholes or earlobes. But they are capable of hearing, because they have external eardrums which serve the purpose of picking sounds.
Do Poison Dart Frogs Have Ears?
Poison dart frogs don’t have earlobes that we can see on their heads. What they use for hearing instead are membranes that are just behind their eyes. Those membranes (which are actually of tympanic/eardrum nature) pick sounds directly, without need for earlobes. They then transfer the sounds to structures inside the poison dart frogs, for processing.
Do Frogs Have Waterproof Ears?
A logical extension of the do frogs have ears question is where we endeavor to know whether frogs have waterproof ears. This is a good question, keeping in mind the fact that frogs live both on land and in water. So the question of whether their ears are waterproof is a very relevant one.
The truth of the matter is that the tympanic membranes (eardrums) that frogs use to ear are made of non-glandular skin. This non-glandular skin has cartilage all around it. This gives it some degree of waterproof capability. Thus, it is accurate to say that frogs have ears that are, to some extent, waterproof.
Final Verdict – Do Frogs Have Ears
Do frogs have ears? Frogs don’t have earlobes or earholes similar to the ones that we have. But they do have structures that serve the purpose of hearing. They do have tympanic membranes, just behind their eyes, through which they pick sound vibrations.
And they do have inner ear structures, through which they convert sound vibrations into electrical signals, which they then pass onto their brains for processing.
Frogs’ hearing systems are mainly attuned to the sounds that are most essential for their survival. Those include mating calls, distress calls and territorial warning calls. Sounds that are not particularly essential for frogs’ survival undergo filtration.
This in effect means that frogs have very good hearing, when it comes to sounds that are essential for their survival. But they have relatively poor hearing when it comes to sounds that are not essential for their survival.