Biologists from the University of Queensland have discovered that snakes can hear sounds even without an external ear. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
It is believed that snakes cannot hear, but only feel the vibrations of the earth. To disprove this, the authors placed 19 different snakes from five families in a soundproof room.
Inside the room, the scientists turned on three sounds, one of which caused the ground to vibrate, and the other two did not. The snakes responded to all three sounds, with the response differing depending on the type of snake.
So, black-headed pythons (Aspidites) began to move in the direction of the sound source. Other species – taipans (Oxyuranus), brown snakes (Pseudonaja) and especially deadly snakes (Acanthophis), on the contrary, tried to move away from him.
According to scientists, this behavior of snakes is due to their behavior in the wild. Pythons are nocturnal predators and have no competition, so they are more daring. Taipans, on the contrary, are vulnerable to other predators, so they prefer to hide.