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20 Cool Animals With Big Ears (Pictures & Fun Facts)

animals with big ears

20 Cool Animals With Big Ears (Pictures & Fun Facts)

When it comes to humans, having big ears isn’t exactly a trait that inspires bragging rights. But let’s turn our attention to the animal kingdom, where the story takes a delightful twist.

In the animal world, big ears are like a superpower that not only enhances their sense of hearing but also serves various other purposes.

In this article, we’ll uncover 20 fascinating animals with big ears. Get ready to be amazed, amused, and utterly captivated by these unique creatures.

20 Animals With Big Ears


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)

As iconic as the land from which they hail, koalas are instantly recognizable ambassadors of Australia’s unique wildlife. Possessing voluminous, velvety ears that are almost cartoonishly large, these charming creatures have rounded heads accentuated by distinctive spoon-shaped noses.

Koalas are the ultimate gastronomic specialists, subsisting almost entirely on a diet of aromatic eucalyptus leaves. Their culinary preferences, however, are rather Spartan, as eucalyptus leaves are low in calories, dictating a slow-paced, languid lifestyle for these fluffy-eared creatures.

Their plush, oversized ears are not merely for show, but rather sophisticated tools of perception. Blanketed in a layer of soft fur, these auditory organs are shaped perfectly for excellent hearing.

This adaptation enables them to detect predators and communicate with other koalas effectively, despite the dense, leafy foliage that often surrounds them.

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African Elephants

animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: Loxodonta
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Height: 8–13 ft. (2.4–4 m) Weight: 5,000–14,000 lb (2.5–7 ton)

The African elephant holds the prestigious title of being the largest land mammal on Earth. Towering above their Asian counterparts, these magnificent beasts are not only taller but are also famed for possessing the most impressively proportioned ears among animals with big ears.

As a matter of fact, African elephants have the largest ears of any animal on the planet.

The African elephant’s gargantuan ears, stretch six feet in length and serve as natural air conditioners.

On sweltering days, these gentle giants ingeniously flap their massive ears, which are dense with blood vessels. This motion encourages the loss of excess body heat, providing a much-needed cooling effect.

Doubling down on their heat-busting tactics, elephants also utilize their versatile trunks to spray refreshing water over their skin.

Fennec Foxes

animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: Vulpes zerda
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Height: 13.6–15.6 in. (34.5–39.5 cm) Weight: 2.2–4.2 lb (1–1.9 kg)

Standing as the tiniest members of the fox family, fennec foxes command attention not with their body size, but with their remarkably large ears, giving them an undeniable charm that makes them arguably the cutest foxes in the world.

The crowning glory of these foxes, their adorable oversized ears, serve a function that’s as critical as they are visually striking. 

Acting as natural radiators, their ears, which can grow an impressive 6 inches, help dissipate the intense desert heat, keeping the foxes cool under the scorching sun.

But these ears aren’t just about temperature control. They are also equipped with exceptional hearing capabilities. This allows the fennec fox to detect the weakest of sounds, helping them locate prey even when it’s scurrying beneath the sand.

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animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: Galagidae
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Height: 5.5–6.7 in. (14 -7 cm) Weight: 0.2–0.6 lb (100–300 g)

Dwelling in the verdant forests of Sub-Saharan Africa, the bush babies, affectionately known as galagos or ‘nagapies’ – a term translating to ‘night monkeys’ – are enchanting creatures that live a nocturnal lifestyle.

Their large, radar-like ears play a vital role in their survival, enabling them to zero in on the faintest rustle of an insect in the dark. In fact, bush babies can hear high-frequency sounds that many other animals can’t detect.

Moreover, their ears, which can rotate independently, provide a wide range of hearing and enable these creatures to pinpoint the precise location of sounds with astonishing accuracy.

This is particularly useful when hunting small insects in the dark or listening out for the subtle sounds of predators.

Mule Deer

animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: Odocoileus hemionus
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Height: 3.9–6.9 ft. (1.2–2.1 m) Weight: 121–331 lb (55–150 kg)

Striding across the western expanses of North America is the mule deer, a remarkable mammal whose claim to fame lies in its large, mule-like ears. These ears are constantly flickering and moving independently, allowing the animal to locate sounds from all directions.

These deer, named after the hardworking mule due to their strikingly large ears, have evolved to be master survivalists.

Besides their acute hearing, their sharp eyes can detect the slightest hint of danger from a staggering 2,000 feet away. They are also gifted athletes, capable of astounding leaps spanning up to 8 yards.

Additionally, the mule deer’s ears are incredibly expressive and serve as a part of their communication toolkit. They use their ears to convey various messages to other deer, such as alerting them to potential threats or displaying dominance.

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animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: Caracal caracal
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • 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.

Caracal ears are equipped with an astounding 20 muscles each, which gives the animal a great level of control over its ear movements. This allows the caracal to scan their environment in all directions without moving their head – a super useful skill for detecting prey and evading predators.

A notable characteristic of the caracal’s ears is the black tufts, also known as ‘lynx tips,’ that crown their tips.

These tufts, while contributing to their striking appearance, are believed to improve their hearing by funneling sounds into their ears. This makes their already remarkable auditory abilities even more potent.

Interestingly, it is also believed that their distinctive ear tufts play a role in non-verbal communication with other caracals.


animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: Leptailurus serval
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Height: 17–24 in. (43–61 cm) Weight: 16–30 lb (7.2–13.6 kg)

The serval is another extraordinary feline species that stands out in the wild cat kingdom. It holds the record for the longest ears relative to body size among all wild cats, an intriguing adaptation that is more than just a distinguishing feature.

These big ears allow servals to hunt prey with almost surgical precision, solely guided by sound. As a matter of fact, many wildlife biologists believe that their ears are equally important as their eyes when it comes to hunting.

Even more intriguing is the fact that their ears are so finely tuned that they can detect ultrasonic signals. This ability is crucial for hunting certain small mammals, such as rodents, which emit high-frequencies.

Basset Hounds

animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: The Basset Hound
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Height: 12–15 in. (30–38 cm) Weight: 55–75 lb (25–34 kg)

Originating from the French countryside, the Basset Hound is a charming, short-legged member of the hound family that embarked on a journey across the English Channel in the early 1870s.

These dogs have a pair of droopy ears that hang low, almost sweeping the ground as they trot along. However, despite their funny appearance, ears serve a crucial function in their sensory toolkit. 

A Basset Hound’s lengthy ears are designed to act as scent traps, transferring aromas directly toward the dog’s highly sensitive nose. This adaptation boosts their olfactory prowess, securing them the coveted title of possessing the second-best sense of smell among all canine breeds!

However, their large ears, while undoubtedly beneficial for scent detection, also require a high level of care. They’re prone to infections, so ear hygiene is crucial for the health and comfort of these floppy-eared hounds.

California Leaf-Nosed Bats

animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: Leptonycteris yerbabuenae
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Height: 3.1 in. (8 cm) Weight:  0.53–0.88 oz (5–25 g)

Residing in the sun-scorched expanses of North American deserts, the California leaf-nosed bat is the only native bat species in this area.  

With its oversized ears that measure over an inch (2.5 cm) in length, this bat is a true example of nature’s architectural marvels.

These natural radar systems serve a critical function in aiding their flight navigation. The ears capture and process a plethora of sound waves, enabling the bats to expertly maneuver through the dark desert skies with agility and precision.

Furthermore, these impressive ears also play an instrumental role in the bat’s hunting strategy. Equipped with exceptional hearing, California leaf-nosed bats can pick up the subtle sounds of insects and small creatures moving on the ground.

English Lops

animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: The English Lop
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Height: 8–10 in. (20–25 cm) Weight: 9–12 lb (4.5–5 kg)

The English Lop, a distinct breed of domestic rabbit, is a delightful spectacle in the world of small mammals. This charming creature is easily recognized by its extraordinarily long ears, which can reach a stunning length of between 21 to 31 inches.

One of their most crucial functions is aiding in heat regulation. In warmer climates or during hot weather, the large surface area of the ears allows for effective heat dissipation, helping the rabbit maintain a comfortable body temperature.

Interestingly, the English Lop has the longest ears of any rabbit breed, a feature that earns them the affectionate moniker “the dog breed of the rabbit world.” This is not only due to their size but also their drooping nature, which resembles the long, floppy ears of certain dog breeds.

Furthermore, the English Lop’s ears add an element of expressiveness to their behavior. Much like a dog’s tail or a cat’s whiskers, the ears can provide clues about the rabbit’s mood.

Greater Kudus

animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: Tragelaphus strepsiceros
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Height: 6.1–8 ft. (1.8–2.4 m) Weight: 420–600 lb (190–272 kg)

The Greater Kudu, an elegant antelope species, lives in the landscapes of Eastern and Southern Africa.

One of the Kudu’s most striking features is its giant ears. These ears serve as powerful sensory tools, providing the Kudu with an extraordinary level of environmental awareness. 

The design of their ears, much like high-tech radar equipment, allows for acute sound detection from every direction.

This audial sensitivity makes Kudus exceptionally hard to approach undetected. Any slight rustling of leaves or hushed whispers can send them bounding away, their powerful legs carrying them swiftly to safety. 

This heightened auditory perception acts as an early warning system, alerting them to potential threats (primarily hyenas, wild dogs, and lions) and ensuring their survival in the wild.

American Brahmans

animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: The American Brahman
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Height: 6.1–8 ft. (1.8–2.4 m) Weight: 1600–2200 lb (725–997 kg)

The American Brahman, a distinct hybrid breed, traces its lineage back to the humped cattle native to Asia.

One of the most recognizable attributes of the American Brahman is its pronounced hump. Positioned over the shoulder and neck region, this hump is not just an aesthetic feature; it’s a reservoir of nutrient-rich fat that the cattle can tap into during times of scarcity, making it a valuable survival tool.

Besides the unique hump, other characteristics of these cattle are big ears and curved horns.

Thanks to their dropping ears, American Brahmans can withstand high temperatures and humidity. Remarkably, the cattle’s ears grow until they die, which means older individuals usually have longer ears.

Anglo-Nubian Goats

animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: Nubian
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Height: 31–35 in. (80–90 cm) Weight: 135–175 lb (61–79 kg)

The Anglo-Nubian goat is a domesticated breed that stands out with its tall stature and strikingly long, pendulous ears. This large goat comes in a delightful palette of colors, including fiery red, sleek black, and warm tan.

Anglo-Nubian goats’ signature is elongated ears that serve as a natural cooling mechanism, helping to dissipate body heat effectively during warm weather.

However, there’s more to the Anglo-Nubian goat than its grandeur and heat-resistant features. These goats are equipped with an impressive field of peripheral vision. 

This wide-range vision acts as a critical line of defense, enabling them to spot potential threats from predators and swiftly react to ensure their safety.

European Hares

animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: Lepus europaeus
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Height: 24–30 in. (60–75 cm) Weight: 6.6–11 lb (3–5 kg)

This magnificent hare is equipped with long, muscular legs and generously sized ears, the tips of which are dipped in an intriguing black hue.

Like many prey animals with large ears, the main purposes of such attributes are thermoregulation, enhanced hearing, communication, and predator detection.

Their ears can be up to 4.3 inches long, typically longer than their heads. Raised ears signal interest and awareness, while lowered ears indicate a need to back away.

Yet, the brown hare is perhaps best known for its remarkable speed. Capable of sprinting at a swift pace of 45 mph, these hares can outrun numerous predators.

Their speed, combined with a zig-zag running pattern and exceptional hearing, makes them elusive and difficult to catch.

Long-Eared Jerboas

animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: Euchoreutes Naso
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Height: 2.8–3.5 ft. (70–90 cm) Weight: 0.85–1.3 oz (24–38 g)

In the arid expanses of Mongolia and northwest China, the long-eared jerboa is a captivating sight. This tiny rodent, resembling a mouse with an oversized tail and remarkably long ears, is a testament to the diversity of species in the animal kingdom.

The ears of the long-eared jerboa are truly phenomenal. Measuring nearly half of the length of its body, they serve multiple critical functions. One of their primary roles is in hunting.

The jerboa’s diet primarily consists of insects, and its keen auditory abilities, facilitated by its large ears, are invaluable in detecting the subtle sounds of its prey.

Moreover, these ears also serve as an effective heat dissipation system. In the intense desert heat, the large surface area of the ears helps to regulate the rodent’s body temperature.

However, it’s not just the ears that make the long-eared jerboa remarkable. They are renowned for their incredible leaping abilities, capable of springing up to six feet to evade predators.

Long-Eared Hedgehogs

animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: Hemiechinus auritus
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Height: 8.3 in. (21 cm) Weight: 12oz (340 g)

The long-eared hedgehog is a solitary animal commonly seen in Central Asia and the Middle East. As the name suggests, the most distinctive feature of the long-eared hedgehog is its elongated ears.

In the scorching desert climates where they are often found, this hedgehog species uses its ears to dissipate heat. But their utility doesn’t end there.

Being both predator and prey, the large ears of the long-eared hedgehog enhance its hearing, enabling it to detect the slightest sounds when hunting or evading predators.

Red Kangaroos

animals with big ears

  • Scientific Name: Osphranter Rufus
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Height: 4.9–5.9 ft. (1.5–1.8 m) Weight: 88–200 lb (40–91 kg)

Australia’s iconic marsupial, the kangaroo, is a unique specimen recognized by its large muscles and distinctive hopping gait. But another fascinating feature is its large ears, which are proportionally quite significant compared to the size of its head.

Kangaroos have very sensitive ears that can rotate independently, giving them excellent directional hearing. What’s more, kangaroos have an exceptional capacity to pick up higher-frequency sounds, a capability that gives them an edge in their native environments.

The primary function of this impeccable hearing is defense. By focusing their ears in different directions, kangaroos can effectively monitor their surroundings for potential threats, even while they’re feeding or resting.


  • Scientific Name: Daubentonia madagascariensis
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Height: 14–17 in. (36–43 cm) Weight: 4lb (2 kg)

While their physical characteristics might seem rather alien, this creature native to Madagascar shares its genetic lineage with the likes of chimpanzees and apes.

In the world of big-eared animals, the aye-aye’s ears are one of the most exceptional. Specifically, these fascinating creatures predominantly feast on larvae and grubs, employing an unusual and resourceful hunting strategy.

Imagine this: the aye-aye taps rhythmically on tree trunks, creating a symphony of natural sonar. Amplified by its oversized ears, the aye-aye listens for the movements of its hidden meals, interpreting the echoes that ripple through the bark.

This remarkable ability to use sound to navigate its environment is most similar to the echolocation employed by bats.


picture of ardvark on a black backround

  • Scientific Name: Orycteropus after
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Height: 3.3–4.3 ft. (100–131 cm) Weight: 88–140 lb (40–63 kg)

Though their appearance might hint at a porcine heritage, aardvarks’ genetic ties trace back to an unexpected relative – the elephant. The name ‘aardvark’, hailing from the Afrikaans language, aptly translates to ‘earth pig’, a nod to their terrestrial lifestyle and pig-like attributes.

Being animals with long faces, sizable ears, and a tongue that stretches an astonishing 12 inches, aardvarks are undoubtedly unique creations of Mother Nature. Their peculiar features serve a purpose, though, with each element perfectly designed to suit their nocturnal, insectivorous lifestyle.

They primarily consume termites and ants, their long, sticky tongues proving to be efficient tools for reaching into the most elusive crevices of termite mounds.

Also, given that their eyesight is somewhat compromised in the darkness, their massive ears become their primary sensory organs

Black-Tailed Jackrabbits

jackrabbit with big ears in the gray field

  • Scientific Name: Lepus californicus
  • Class: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Height: 18–24 in. (46–61 cm) Weight: 3.1–6 lb (1.4–2.7 kg)

Rounding off our list of animals with impressive ears is the black-tailed jackrabbit, charmingly known as the American desert hare. This species boasts remarkable agility and is known for its swift running and agile leaping skills.

In addition to athletic abilities, the black-tailed jackrabbit’s defining feature is its set of towering ears, which can reach lengths between 4 and 5 inches (10 and 13 cm). These prominent appendages create a distinct silhouette, making the jackrabbit easily identifiable.

Like most of their rabbit kin, the primary purpose of their large ears is to detect the faintest of sounds within their environment, serving as vital tools for survival. In a twist of evolutionary ingenuity, these oversized ears also play a pivotal role in body temperature regulation.

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