Animal Hearing Facts

Owls have amazingly informative hearing.  For example, in the middle of the night a tawny owl can assess the precise direction and speed of a moving mouse in 0.01 seconds.

Unexpectedly, cats have better hearing than dogs.

Elephants surprisingly have exceptional hearing, not only because of their big ears but because they use their trunk and feet too.  These are packed with special receptors to pick up on low frequency vibrations (useful for thunderstorm detection).

Lots of people know that bats and dolphins use echolation.  Fewer people know that some moths can hear these ultrasonic emissions.  Instead of just dodging an incoming bat, they emit a sound back to their predator which confuses the bat and allows the moth to escape.

Pigeons hear sounds at exceptionally low frequencies which explains their exceptional sense of direction. Naturally occurring infra-sound such as thunderstorms and seismic activity allows pigeons to effectively see with their ears, making them arguably the best navigators in the natural world.