group of animals with small ears swimming in the water

The sense of hearing is one of the most important survival features not only for humans but for animals as well.

It is said, “your ears will never get you in trouble,” but did you know, many species of birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians do not have external ears. At the same time, we have animals with long ears and animals with small ears.

Here we will discuss the latter. So, let’s meet our seven small-eared animals.

7 Animals With Small Ears

Beavers

close up photo of a beaver

Scientific Name – Castor

Diet – Herbivore

Beavers are well-known natural architectures that spend most of their time in their self-built homes known as lodges. They are kinds of animals that live on land and water, referred to semi-aquatic.

A usual diet of beavers consists of water plants, bark, woods, and other aquatic vegetation.

Despite being animals with small ears, beavers have an excellent sense of hearing. The ability to hear well is one of their main features that helps them sense the danger and stay safe against different predators.

Not only do they have an acute hearing on land, but they are also able to hear when underwater. Their ears have small flaps that prevent the water from coming inside the eardrum while swimming.

What’s interesting about these swimming rodents is that they also can identify the noises of different predators, and so they’ll use different sounds to alert other family members of possible danger.

Polar Bears

polar bear standing on snow

Scientific Name – Ursus maritimus

Diet – Carnivore

The cute and fluffy marine mammals, polar bears, are mostly found in and around the Arctic ocean and live within the Arctic circle. They are the largest surviving carnivore or meat eater on land and the largest surviving bear species.

Did you know polar bears have black skin, and while their fur looks white, it is translucent in reality? It only appears white as the furs reflect visible light.

They have small ears that help them to conserve heat as much as possible to survive in a cold region like Antarctica. If they were animals with big ears, they would die out of a cold owing to the inability to retain body heat for a long time.

The hearing sense of polar bears is not great in comparison to their smelling sense. Researches state their sense of hearing is quite similar to that of humans. Which means they can hear sound ranges between 11,200 and 22,500 Hz.

The main diet of polar bears consists of seals, animals that produce sounds less than 2,000 Hz. This mainly shows how well-developed listening skills are not required for polar bears to hunt their most-loved prey.

Gorillas

big black gorilla in a forest

Scientific Name – Gorilla

Diet – Herbivore

These endangered animals, who are about 1,063 in number in the wild (as per the latest census), are found in two species; eastern and western gorillas in equatorial Africa. Did you know, 98% of humans’ DNA is similar to that of gorillas? However, the latter has not developed needed immunities.

Gorillas are big, huge, and powerful animals, where some weigh up to 226 kg (500 pounds) and are over 5’5″ tall. They have a thick and strong chest and a larger stomach.

These apes typically have tiny ears, although their hearing is well-developed. As they usually live in dense vegetation habitats, making the visibility restricted, they mainly rely on hearing to locate other troop members or sense the danger.

Just like humans, gorillas have a set of 32 very strong teeth, helping them to eat away the course vegetation! A quarter of the mountain gorillas’ day is spent eating shoots, leaves, ants, snails, and bark.

Gorillas are the family-loving types! The mountain gorillas live in groups of 2 – 12 members, where one adult male is dominant, and there are many females. Be it the males or females, in the groups, gorillas care for each other, especially the infants.

Related Article: Animals Without Ears

Arctic Foxes

white arctic fox sitting on snow

Scientific Name – Vulpes lagopus

Diet – Carnivore

If you ever wondered, “can foxes be cute” – just look at the arctic fox and decide! These white foxes are also known as the polar fox or snow fox and are found in the Arctic regions. Their warm and thick fur provides insulation and helps them to adapt to the harshly cold and freezing climate of the Arctic!

The small ears of these animals help them maintain a body temperature by not letting the body heat escape quickly. They have sharp senses of hearing and smell, which helps them to track the scent and the movement of their prey underneath the snow.

The feet of Arctic foxes have a thick fur layer, almost like snow boots, which serve perfectly considering the habitat of these small foxes.

The arctic foxes’ color ranges from white, brown to even blueish-grey, depending on the time of the year. As winter comes, the artic foxes shed the dark-colored fur and begin to grow white fur. This helps them to camouflage and hide, thereby protecting themselves from being attacked in the snow.

Scottish Fold Cats

white and black scottish fold cats

Scientific Name – Felis catus

Diet – Carnivore

The Scottish Fold is a cat breed that is born with a dominant-gene mutation affecting its cartilages, which also causes its straight and small ears to fold and bend down. This makes the cat appear like an owl. These signature folded ears also give these cats a pretty adorable look.

The first Scot Fold was called, “Susie,” and she was found on a farm in Scotland in the year 1961. She is known as the ancestor of all Scottish Folds. These cats, who originated in Scotland are lovingly kept as domestic pets. They have a short and round well-padded body.

They are also known to be sitting like humans, where the owners call it “the Buddha sit.” These cats have recently become popular pets, not due to their tiny ears and unique appearance but also because of their temperament. They are a cuddly cat breed that especially enjoys the attention and love coming from children.

Read Also: Animals With Pouches

Otters

river otter swimming in the water

Scientific Name – Lutrinae

Diet – Carnivore

Otters are cute-looking mammals found on every continent except for Antarctica. There are 13 different otter species belonging to the group of either semi-aquatic, aquatic, or marine. These carnivores mammals are natural-born swimmers who mainly eat fish as a part of their diet.

Even though they are animals with tiny ears, otters have developed hearing both on land and underwater. When submerged, their ears close in order to keep the water out.

Besides the sharp sense of hearing, otters’ smell is also quite developed. However, according to biologists, hearing is more important than smell when it comes to sensing danger.

Yet, their senses are not only helpful for staying alert from predators; instead, they are also used for hunting. Otters are skilled hunters, for which they spend up to five hours every day.

Musk Ox

Scientific Name – Ovibos moschatus

Diet – Herbivore

The last members on our list of animals with small ears are Musk Oxes. The Musk Oxen were once widespread across the Arctic region, but due to the unfortunate and rampant hunting down of these animals, the numbers have reduced largely now.

These giants are fairly distributed across Arctic North America to Greenland. Their average height is about 4-5 ft, and they weigh anywhere between 180-410kg (400 – 900 pounds). Boy, are they huge beasts!

Like many other animals who thrive in cold climate areas, the large body of the musk oxen helps them to maintain their body heat. The short legs and small furry ears help to reduce heat loss due to the fewer surface areas available.

The musk oxen are herbivorous animals and feed on plants that they can easily find. In the wintry months, they use their hooves to dig through ice and snow to find and eat lichens, roots, and mosses.

These animals live in one of the coldest regions on earth, and their small ears help them lose less body heat and keep themselves warm.

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