Despite having no external ear flaps or visible organs, bearded dragons can detect sound vibrations with astonishing accuracy.
So how do bearded dragons’ ears work exactly? How can they make sense of sound waves without any perceivable apparatus?
Bearded dragons have ears located on both sides of their head. These ears are not in the form of external visible ones but instead are holes on their head for capturing sound.
Let’s discuss these incredible creatures’ auditory abilities.
Do Bearded Dragons Have Ears?
We often think of our beloved lizards with crests, frills, and spikes—but what about ears? Do bearded dragons have ears?
The answer is yes!
Bearded dragons possess two small openings situated just behind the eyes that serve as their hearing organs.
Despite being smaller than larger animals’ external auditory structures, these ear slits still serve an important purpose for reptiles in detecting sound vibrations.
With these sensory devices, bearded dragons are able to hear sounds from up to several feet away – far enough away from predators or mates to hear them.
Where Are They And What Do They Look Like?
What’s interesting about bearded dragons is that they can hear without a visible hearing organ. The question is where are they located?
When it comes to their appearance, beardies have tiny slit-like external auditory canals that look like two dark lines running vertically down each side of their heads.
But what about how those little holes work?
Even though we don’t know exactly how our scaly friends perceive sound, we know this: like other lizards and reptiles, they have three semicircular canals in their inner ear that allow them to keep their balance as they move. Vibrations from nearby prey or predators can be detected by these canal structures.
Additionally, some researchers believe that although lower frequencies escape detection by these creatures’ outer ears, higher-range sounds will still reach their inner ears.
Unlike other animals, bearded dragons don’t rely heavily on their hearing senses.
How Their Ears Are Structured Internally
There has been a lot of interest in how the ears of bearded dragons are structured internally. Let’s find out.
First of all, the outer ear consists of a flat disc surrounded by scales called auricles which act like radar dishes for sound signals.
The shape allows the dragon to direct incoming sounds towards its audial canal where they travel down into a system of three small bones in the middle ear known as ossicles.
This structure amplifies and directs vibrations from the eardrum through to another chamber filled with fluid called the cochlea.
Vibrations create nerve impulses that are sent via auditory nerves to the brain, allowing it to interpret meaning from sound patterns.
Finally, all this happens within milliseconds – so fast you might not even think twice when your bearded dragon perks up at the slightest noise!
That’s why their hearing is so sensitive.
Do You Need To Clean Their Ears?
As we’ve already said, bearded dragons have ears. But do they need to be cleaned?
The answer is both yes and no.
Yes, in the sense that any foreign bodies or debris should be removed from your dragon’s ear canals with a damp cotton swab on occasion. This will help prevent infection and keep them healthy.
Keep in mind, though, that you must avoid going too far into their ears as this could cause damage. Also, don’t use anything other than a damp cloth because that might irritate their skin.
No, Since bearded dragons are desert creatures by nature, regular ear cleaning isn’t necessary for them.
In fact, doing so could potentially dry out their skin and cause unnecessary irritation for them which would only lead to further complications down the road.
How Bearded Dragon Ears Work: Understanding Their Unique Anatomy
Unlike mammals, reptiles have unique anatomy when it comes to their ears.
In this article, we’ll dive deep into the science behind how bearded dragon ears function, from the outer to the inner ear.
The Tympanic Membrane
To begin understanding how bearded dragon ears work, we have to start with the outer ear.
Bearded dragons have two external ear openings on either side of their head, covered by a thin, translucent layer of skin.
Underneath this skin is the tympanic membrane, also known as the eardrum. When sound waves hit the membrane, it vibrates, transmitting the sound waves to the middle ear.
When the sound waves reach the middle ear, they encounter the stapes, one of the three bones that make up the reptilian middle ear. The stapes is a small bone that acts as a bridge between the tympanic membrane and the inner ear. As the stapes vibrates, it transfers the sound waves to the inner ear.
The Inner Ear
The inner ear of bearded dragons is responsible for converting sound waves into electrical signals that the brain can interpret.
The inner ear consists of two main components: the cochlea and the vestibular system. The cochlea is a coiled tube filled with fluid and tiny hair cells that detect different frequencies of sound.
When the stapes vibrates, it causes the fluid in the cochlea to move, stimulating the hair cells and creating an electrical signal.
The vestibular system, on the other hand, is responsible for detecting movement and orientation in space. It consists of three semicircular canals filled with fluid and tiny hair cells.
When the bearded dragon moves its head or body, the fluid in the canals moves, stimulating the hair cells and sending signals to the brain about the movement and orientation of the reptile’s body.
Other Functions Of The Inner Ear
While the cochlea and vestibular system are responsible for hearing and balance, respectively, the inner ear also plays a crucial role in other bodily functions.
For instance, the inner ear is involved in regulating blood pressure, body temperature, and even heart rate.
These functions are controlled by the vestibular system’s ability to detect changes in the body’s position and adjust accordingly.
From the tympanic membrane to the inner ear, these reptiles have evolved a complex system for detecting sound waves and movement in their environment.
Can bearded dragons hear music?
Yes, bearded dragons can hear music and other sounds in their environment. However, they may not enjoy or react to music in the same way that humans or other animals do.
How can I tell if my bearded dragon is deaf?
If your bearded dragon is not responding to sounds or seems disinterested in its environment, it may be deaf. However, it’s important to rule out other factors, such as illness or stress, before assuming deafness.
Can loud noises harm my bearded dragon’s hearing?
Yes, loud noises can damage your bearded dragon’s hearing. Avoid exposing your pet to loud or sudden noises, such as fireworks or car horns.
At first glance, it may be difficult to tell whether a bearded dragon has ears.
However, They have a unique ear structure with two tiny openings located on the top of their heads behind their eyes.
As most reptiles lack an external auditory canal and eardrum, this does not mean that your beardie cannot hear.
By understanding how their ears work and where they are located, we can become better stewards when caring for our scaly friends.