Having big ears in humans is not something one would brag about. However, with animals, the situation is somewhat different. Animals with big ears often attract attention with their cute, funny looks.
There are many different animals with big ears all over the world, but in this article, we will talk about 20 of them.
Let’s first start with the explanation of why do some animals have big ears?
For different animals, big-sized ears have different purposes. For example, animals with big ears, like elephants, regulate their body temperature through their ears. And since elephants do not sebum glands, meaning they do not sweat, they need a different way to regulate the temperature in harsh environments.
Other animals, such as Fennec foxes, have big ears, which they use to locate prey underground. On the other hand, some animals are the target of many predators, so their big ears serve as potential danger detectors.
19 Animals With Big Ears
Scientific Name: Phascolarctos cinereus
Class: Mammal Diet: Arboreal Herbivore
Height: 24-33 in. (60-85 cm) Weight: 9–33 lb (4–15 kg)
Characterized by big fluffy ears, rounded heads, and spoon-shaped noses, koalas are one of the most recognized animals native to Australia.
The bulk of the Koalas diet comes from plant matter. In fact, their diet almost entirely consists of eucalyptus leaves. And so, due to their low-calorie diet, koalas are highly sedentary animal species.
Fun Fact: Koalas sleep up to 22 hours a day!
Koalas’ big ears are covered with fur, and because of their round shape, they provide a good hearing.
Sometimes because of their bear-like appearance, koalas are mislabeled as bears. Koalas are not bears; koalas are marsupials.
And just like most marsupials, female koalas have pouches, and they give birth to undeveloped babies.
Fun Fact: Males are 50% larger than females.
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The African Elephant
Scientific Name: Loxodonta
Height: 8–13 ft. (2.4–4 m) Weight: 5,000–14,000 lb (2.5-7 ton)
The African elephant is the largest land mammal on the planet. They are similar to their Asian elephant cousin, but they are slightly higher and possess larger ears.
Their big ears are used for heat control. Their ears can grow six feet long and five feet wide.
By flapping their ears, African elephants increase heat loss during hot weather. They also use their trunk to cool off by squirting water over their bodies.
Fun Fact: The African elephant has the largest ears in the world!
These giants are herbivores, and they feed on grasses, roots, barks, and fruits. A fully grown elephant can eat up to 300 pounds per day.
African elephants are a frequent target of poachers, and they are threatened to become critically endangered species.
Fun Fact: African elephants are matriarchal – each family unit is led by an older cow
The Fennec Fox
Scientific Name: Vulpes zerda
Height: 13.6-15.6 in. (34.5-39.5 cm) Weight: 2.2–4.2 lb (1–1.9 kg)
The fennec fox is the smallest fox species in the world. Yet, its large ears make them probably the cutest foxes.
The main role of their big ears is to dissipate heat. It is worth mentioning that their hearing is highly developed, and they can locate the prey underground. The fennec fox ears can grow up to 6 inches.
Fun Fact: The fennec foxes can survive without drinking water!
These small foxes live in deserts, and their diet consists of meat, insects, leaves, and fruits.
Due to their well-developed agility and ability to jump and move fast, the fennec foxes have only a few natural predators (owls and humans).
The fennec foxes are a highly social animal species, and they tend to live in groups of 10 or more individuals.
Fun Fact: The fennec foxes regulate body temperature by increasing and decreasing breaths per minute.
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Scientific Name: Galagidae
Height: 5.5-6.7 in. (14 -7 cm) Weight: 0.2 – 0.6 lb (100–300 g)
The bush babies, also known as galagos, or nagapies (translated as “night monkeys”) are small animals native to the forests of the Sub-Saharan region in Africa.
Galagos are extremely good jumpers and they spend most of their time in the trees.
Fun Fact: Galagos can jump as high as 7ft.
Their large eyes and bat-like ears (which rotate independently) allow them to locate small insects during the night.
Galagos are fast and agile little creatures, and they feed by snatching insects out of the air. Besides insects, they eat fruits and sometimes small animals, such as birds or frogs.
Fun Fact: Galagos mark their territory by “urine wiping”
The Mule Deer
Scientific Name: Odocoileus hemionus
Height: 3.9-6.9 ft. (1.2-2.1 m) Weight: 121–331 lb (55–150 kg)
The mule deer is a large mammal that inhabits western parts of North America. The name Mule comes from its ears, which move constantly and independently.
The diets of mule deer consist of different varieties of vegetation, such as nuts, corn, beans, pods, berries, green plants, etc.
Fun Fact: The mule deer can spot predators from 2,000 ft. away!
Besides good vision, the mule deer is quite an athletic animal. They can jump up to 8 yards and run as fast as 45 mph.
And because they have many predators in the wild, the mule deer relies on sharpened senses and natural attributes to protect themselves.
Fun Fact: The mule deer has the longest migration of any land mammal – 150 miles (240 kilometers)
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Scientific Name: Caracal caracal
Height: 2–3.5 ft. (60–106 cm) Weight: 25–45 lb (11–20 kg)
The caracal is a medium-sized wild cat that lives in forests, savannas, and deserts of Asia and Africa.
Their extraordinary ears are large and have 20 muscles in each of them! The caracal big ears are very effective for detecting the prey and for communicating with other caracals.
Fun Fact: The caracal has black turfs on the tip of its ears
Caracals are adept hunters, and they mainly feed on small mammals, birds, and rodents. When going after birds, caracals jump up to 12 ft. (4 meters) and catch birds in midair.
These wild cats are usually nocturnal, and due to their highly secretive behavior, they are difficult to observe. However, just like other cats, they meow, purr, growl, and hiss.
Fun Fact: The caracal can change direction in midair!
Scientific Name: Leptailurus serval
Height: 17–24 in. (43–61cm) Weight: 16–30 lb (7.2–13.6kg)
The serval is another wild cat native to sub-Saharan parts of Africa. Due to their big ears, they are easily distinguished from other cat relatives.
Thanks to their big ears, servals can hunt guided only by sounds. These unusually long ears are their main attribute when it comes to hunting.
It is believed that serval ears are equally important as their eyes. More than 50% of hunting attempts end up with success.
Fun Fact: The serval cats have the longest ears of any wild cat relative to body size
Servals mostly feed on rodents, birds, and sometimes on frogs, reptiles, and insects. Unlike many wild cats, servals do not scavenge on other predator’s food. Presumably, because they are such successful hunters.
Fun Fact: The serval cats can live up to 20 years in the wild!
The Basset Hound
Scientific Name: The Basset Hound
Height: 12-15 in. (30-38 cm) Weight: 55-75 lb (25-34 kg)
Basset Hounds are short-legged dog breeds from the hound family.
Basset Hounds have large ears, but if not cleaned inside regularly, are prone to infections and ear mites.
However, its big ears have a purpose. They help the dog to bring the smell directly to its nose.
Fun Fact: Bassets have the second-best sense of smell among all dog species!
Originally from France, Basset Hounds were imported into England in the early 1870s. The average lifespan of Basset Hounds is around 11 years.
Fun Fact: Due to their weight and short legs, Bassets are bad swimmers!
The California leaf-nosed bat
Scientific Name: Leptonycteris yerbabuenae
Height: 3.1 in (8cm) Weight: 0.53-0.88 oz (5-25 g)
The California leaf-nosed bat is the only bat native to North America, with its natural habitat in the hot deserts. These big-eared bats are important for pollinators for different desert plants.
The size of its ears is usually over 1 in (2.5 cm), and it helps this flying mammal with maneuvering during flights.
Fun Fact: The California leaf-nosed bat flies almost silently!
Mainly feeding on crickets, grasshoppers, and other insects, The Californian bat is considered an insectivore.
Like the majority of bat species, The Californian bat is nocturnal; during the daytime, they roost in caves or tunnels.
Fun Fact: The California leaf-nosed bat flies almost silently!
The English Lop
Scientific Name: The English Lop
Height: 8-10 in. (20-25cm) Weight: 9–12 lb (4-5-5 kg)
The English Lop is a unique domestic rabbit characterized by its long ears. Its big ears help an animal in heat regulation. The size of its ears can be 21-31 inches long.
Fun Fact: It is unknown where The English Loop originates from!
Some of the food they enjoy is kale, parsley, basil, collards, radish, and carrots. However, these rabbits are not very active animals, and they are likely to become overweight.
English Loops are soft and cuddly pets, and they are especially beloved by children. Even though they can live both outdoors and indoors, English Loops do not do well in harsh weather.
Fun Fact: English Loops have great personalities!
The Greater kudu
Scientific Name: Tragelaphus strepsiceros
Height: 6.1-8 ft. (1.8-2.4m) Weight: 420-600 lb (190-272kg)
The greater kudu is antelope that is commonly found in the east and south parts of Africa. These animals have long and narrow bodies, and they possess up to 12 white body stripes.
Fun Fact: Kudu body colors and markings are important camouflage protection against predators!
Equipped with their big radar-alike ears, Kudus are extremely hard to approach. However, lions, hyenas, and African wild dogs are their main natural enemies.
Kudus are herbivores, and their diet consists of leaves, roots, grass, and different fruits.
Fun Fact: Kudus use horns to fight with each other during the courtship season!
The American Brahman
Scientific Name: The American Brahman
Height: 6.1-8 ft. (1.8-2.4m) Weight: 1600-2200 lb (725-997kg)
The American Brahman is a hybrid type of cattle, descending from the Asian humped cattle breed.
These cattle species are widely known for their large hump in the shoulder and neck parts. Other unique characteristics of these cattle are big ears and curved horns.
Fun Fact: American Brahmins are heat resistant due to their thick skin!
The Brahman cattle is one of the most popular meat processing cattle species in Argentina, Brazil, the United States, Australia, and other parts of the world.
Due to their longevity, The Brahman cattle often produce calves at age of 15 or older.
Fun Fact: American Brahmins live longer than most cattle breeds!
The Anglo-Nubian goat
Scientific Name: Nubian
Height: 31-35 in. (80-90cm) Weight: 135-175 lb (61-79kg)
The Anglo-Nubian goat is a domesticated large goat native to Britain. It is characterized by long legs and long hanging ears. Their fur comes in different colors, including red, black, and tan.
Fun Fact: Nubian goats have a wide range of peripheral vision, which helps them watch for predators!
The goats are mainly fed with livestock hay and grain. The main purpose for domestication is because of the goat’s milk and meat.
Fun Fact: Long ears help Nubian goats cool off in hot weather!
The European Hare
Scientific Name: Lepus europaeus
Height: 24-30 in. (60-75cm) Weight: 6.6-11 lb (3-5kg)
The brown hare, also known as the European hare, lives in different parts of Asia and Europe. It is one of the largest hare species.
Besides being physically large, brown hares have long legs and big black-tipped ears.
Fun Fact: European hares are known for their boxing abilities!
Brown hares mainly eat herbs and grasses. Their diet is supplemented with twigs, barks, and buds.
These giant hares are also known for their super-speed abilities (45mph), which allow them to run away from different predators.
Fun Fact: The European hare spends 1/3 of their lives foraging!
The long-eared jerboa
Scientific Name: Euchoreutes Naso
Height: 2.8–3.5 ft. (70–90 cm)
Weight: 0.85 – 1.3 oz (24–38 g)
The long-eared jerboa is a small rodent animal with a big tail and unusual long ears. These mouse-like animals are native to the deserts of Mongolia and northwest China.
The long-eared jerboa mainly eats insects, and it relies on its good sound-sense abilities when hunting.
Fun Fact: The long-eared jerboa has the largest ears relative to the size
These little nocturnal creatures spend most of the daytime under the ground’s surface, making them hard to explore further.
However, the jerboas are best known for their leaping abilities, which they use for escaping predators.
Fun Fact: The long-eared jerboa can leap up to six feet!
The Long-Eared Hedgehog
Scientific Name: Hemiechinus auritus
Height: 8.3 in. (21cm) Weight: 12oz (340g)
The long-eared hedgehog is a solitary animal commonly seen in Central Asia and the Middle East. They are distinguished by their long bat-like ears and their activity in the early evening.
Fun Fact: Long-eared hedgehog ears are used for heat radiation in deserts!
These hedgehogs are insectivores, and they mainly feed on beetles, caterpillars, and earthworms.
When in search of food, long-eared hedgehogs roam up six miles.
Fun Fact: Long-eared hedgehog sharp spines protect them from predators!
The Red Kangaroo
Scientific Name: Osphranter Rufus
Height: 4.9-5.9 ft. (1.5-1.8m) Weight: 88-200 lb (40-91kg)
The red kangaroo is the largest kangaroo species and the largest hopping animal in the world. These hopping animals are unique creatures native to Australia.
Fun Fact: Red kangaroos flex their muscles to show off!
Besides being large and muscular, red kangaroos are recognized by their long ears and square-shaped muzzle.
Kangaroos are herbivores, and more than 75% of their diet comes from green grass.
Fun Fact: Male kangaroos never stop growing!
Scientific Name: Daubentonia madagascariensis
Height: 14-17 in. (36-43cm) Weight: 4lb (2kg)
Aye-ayes are rare animals that live only in Madagascar. Despite not having a similar appearance, they are related to chimpanzees and apes.
They have large and sensitive ears, which help them focus on the sounds in their surroundings.
Fun Fact: Aye-aye is the largest nocturnal primate in the world!
Aye-ayes have an unusual way of feeding. To feed on grubs, they tap on the trees with their hands. This foraging style is called percussive foraging.
These strange creatures spend most of their lives in rainforest trees.
Fun Fact: People in Madagascar consider the aye-aye a harbinger of evil!
Scientific Name: Orycteropus afer
Height: 3.3-4.3 ft. (100-131cm) Weight: 88-140 lb (40-63kg)
Aardvark is a pig-like burrowing mammal that lives in Africa. Their name Aardvark when translated means “earth pig”.
These strange creatures have a big muzzle and long pointy ears.
Fun Fact: Aardvarks are closely related to elephants!
Aardvarks are nocturnal insectivorous animals, and they mostly prefer eating termites and ants.
In Africa, their natural enemies are lions, leopards, hyenas, and pythons. Their big ears and great sense of hearing are their main defensive mechanism against predators.
Fun Fact: Aardvarks can eat up to 50,000 ants in one night!