…and what Can They Hear?
Do they have “perfect hearing?” Is it better, lesser, or just different than ours?
It has been suggested that we cover what it’s like for a lizard to hear. Thought that was a great idea! As a result of doing this, I must say, sometimes the more we learn, the more questions we have!!
I’ve learned that the more I learn, the more I realize the vastness of what I don’t know – and way more than presumed! I didn’t know what I didn’t know until I learned of it, so at the end of it all, rather, where I hit the proverbial pause button, I have to question, “Am I any wiser?!”
Now, what we’ve got here is based on research and scientific understandings. I submit there is a chance all the research that great minds have accomplished may or may never prove to us without a doubt, that this way or that way is the undisputable truth in which a creature sees, hears, or even proves to us an individual creature’s limitations regarding reasoning, learning, or loving abilities. Meaning, the research may be entirely accurate and perhaps not, maybe there’s something else there that we all don’t know. Here’s what we found:
The photo below is pertaining to lizards’ oral health, but it shows very well the covering of the tympanic membrane, or tympanum, it’s the medical term for the ear drum. This awesome, protective, film-looking covering is, in my opinion, another beautiful example of… however you see it, God’s perfect designing, evolution, or a magical “Ta-dah” moment when a new sort of being manifests itself into this reality and life knew what it needed!!
This membrane’s purpose is two-fold. Sound waves strike it, permeate through it, and continue on through the complexities of wonderous working ears, to then be rationalized by the thinking or aware brain wherein perception takes place. Afterwards, a decision is made based on whether the sound seems threatening, welcoming, or neutral. The membrane’s second purpose is to protect these inner workings by keeping out debris such as sand and dirt, or insects… another natural solution! Brilliant! Beautiful! Perfect!
Lizards have much of what we do in regards to what makes up the interiors of our ears. They have eardrums, eustachian tubes and the stapes, awesomely, this is a very tiny bone, and the smallest bone in the human body. It aids in the conduction of sound vibrations to the inner ear. At the outer end of the stapes is a cartilage cap, which contacts the tympanic membrane, or ear drum.
“In some reptiles, this cartilage, called the extrastapes, is attached to the quadrate (the primary support of the lower jaw). The upper and lower jaws of lizards contain several bones not found in mammals.” Thank you Wikivet.
Now here’s a cool part, it is believed (based on research) that snakes basically “hear” through their jaw bones via vibratory stimuli, with which, they deduce, or instantly realize what is happening, decide where they need to go, and what they should do based on reactive decisions… or that beautiful “instinct” that we discussed HERE.
We proceed to the little lizard inner ear. It contains organs related to balance just as ours. How do all of our ears play the necessary role of allowing us equilibrium ? Read HERE, this is cool stuff!
You’ll see in the human ear diagram a blue colored, spiral shape. This is the “cochlea.” Lizards have these as well. Although the existence of a cochlea isn’t obvious in the lizard ear diagram above (it is not easy to locate detailed images of the anatomy of their ears), they do have them. Whether the ear design is a simpler one, or a more intricate version, there are principles, the system behind what it takes to hear that works.
“Cochlea” is a derivative of Ancient Greek, spiral or snail shell.
This is a cochlea:
You may recognize this spiral, but it is only one found in nature. Spirals live many places on precious Earth, as galaxy shapes, and elsewhere! AND ONE EXISTS IN (and on) OUR HEADS!! Where all does this shape exist and which creatures have been observed traveling in a spiral? You might be amazed!!
There is the Archimedean spiral, logarithmic, golden, spiral of Theodorus, and so many more!! Which spiral do you think the cochlea closest resembles?
If you’re interested:
What else did we learn?!
Well, among iguanidae, this is the family of iguanas and chuckwallas, and also among agamids, the family of bearded dragons, Chinese water dragons, and Uromastyx (that’s 3 of 300 species), there is stated to be minimal structural variation along the cochlea. I’m assuming this means that overall, most can hear as well as we, but do not hear the range due to a simpler variation of the ear design. However, others such as geckos, have very extensive differentiation along their extended basilar membranes, nearing that of humans and other vertebrates.
Most lizards hear best between 400 and 1500 hertz. Yet another stated that lizards have good auditory sensory between 100 – 4,000 hertz with relatively poor hearing for lower and higher tones based on electrical responses in the cochlea, thus resulting in conclusions regarding tonal regions and frequency range.
To put this in perspective, let’s compare this to human hearing capabilities. Sound’s volume is measured in decibels and pitch is measured in hertz. Our average range of audible hertz is 20 (like a growl) – 20,000 (like a whistle), though it is stated some can hear above and below this (then so could lizards?), including infants, children, teens, and some adult women. Isn’t it odd that often women speak a higher Hz, and men speak a lower Hz, so when adults’ hearing begins to diminish, men’s ability to hear the higher stuff is what’s mostly affected, and vice versa for the women. It’s almost like a selective auditory decline. : ) Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh, when she (or he) starts yapping, I just turn my deaf ear towards her (or him)?! The average man’s speaking voice is roughly 85 – 155 Hz., a woman’s is 165 – 255 Hz., and a child’s is 250 – 300 and higher. This does not include other sounds we make, including singing.
Below 20 is infrasound, such as that caused by an earthquake, which we can feel, while above 20k is ultrasound (the use of ultrasound has helped doctors see what’s happening inside bodies). Ultrasounds are used by bats and whales. Amazing!! Loudness refers to the amplitude of sound waves (think of amplifiers for guitars), and pitch is the frequency of a sound wave’s vibration. Under ideal conditions, humans can hear sound as low as 12 Hz and as high as 28kHz (1 kHz = 1000 Hz).
As you visit the links that aided in our research, you may stumble upon rather inconsequential differences in claims, but they all help to form a general understanding.
Our sources of information and a couple photos:
- https://www.britannica.com/science/sound-reception/Turtles (discusses many creatures!)
You can learn more and do hearing tests here: https://www.mathsisfun.com/physics/waves-sound.html
We accumulated information regarding how lizards see in our post titled: Do Lizards Have 20/20 Vision?. That was really fun to do. We learned interesting things that we were excited to share! If you missed it, be sure to check it out. It has been our most visited post to date and readers continue to see it after 3+ years!
It is my belief that numerous creatures “hear” and “see” in a multitude of ways, including us. Maybe, just maybe, they interpret energies or vibes from others just as we. It is said that animals sense things (i.e., Sometimes our animals don’t like a certain person and later we find out they were correct in their opinion, so to speak. And how did animals know to get away from the ocean as the tsunami of 2004 began, when the water had first only receded in Thailand?). Maybe they experience telepathy.
We have many languages, vocal, body language, “intuition,” and so forth. I have witnessed remarkable communications between creatures. Do you ever know what your animal friend is thinking, or the mood they’re in before seeing obvious signs, or know that they just awoke? Doesn’t matter if it’s a bird, dog, or lizard. When there is a bond, it’s solid. Do they know how we are feeling despite any vocal language barriers? I don’t know if a scientific study does or ever will exist to answer questions as these, or how accurate the findings. But they are more like us, than many think, a side effect perhaps, of living here together, or maybe we are all just one, not truly separate.
You may almost hear my squealing from Murph’s dangling legs of cuteness.
So, all of this got me thinking. I’ve read on the “Law of attraction and repulsion,” and about people raising their vibrations, their frequencies. I wondered if this can be scientifically measured, since we’re on the subject of measuring vibrations.
Guess what!! It can be measured or seems so!!
These are just some emotions. Shame, one of many negative thoughts has registered as a frequency of 20 Hz.
- Grief: 75 Hz
- Desire: 125 Hz
- Anger: 150Hz
- Love: 500 Hz
- Joy: 540 Hz
- Enlightenment: 700 Hz
If thoughts are measured in Hz, why can’t we hear them?
“Is it possible that different types of thoughts have different frequencies, just like a radio station? I believe the answer to that is that to a degree they do, however it’s not the thoughts that emit a frequency it’s the brainwaves, which are directly controlled by thoughts and emotions. That brainwave frequency is then transmitted into the world, so to speak. Others pick up on the frequency, or vibration, and are attracted to it or repelled by it depending on their frequency at a particular time.”Basically, like attracts like. Read more from this quotes source: https://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/changing-the-frequencies-of-our-thoughts/
More sources on vibrations:
174 Hz is one of the Solfeggio frequencies, a series of tones used in sacred music.
It is believed different frequencies of sound can induce altered states of consciousness, such as a trance state induced by shamanic methods. Learn more and see videos here:
I believe as someone is dying, the hearing is indeed the last sense to fade out (hopefully it is not the sense of feeling and of pain). I also believe when someone is comatose, a part of them continues to hear. I have had experiences with my parents to draw me to these conclusions. With that, I read this: https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/these-brain-scans-of-dying-patients-may-reveal-what-happens-when-you-die/ar-AA1aFLa9
Some of this reading I’ve done further slid me into reading of the Faraday cage. I first read of this invention in a book titled, “Science and the Akashic Field” by Ervin Laszlo. It discusses “String Theory.” It stated something about (it’s been a long time since I read it) tests in which people tried to read the minds of others as they rested within a Faraday cage. Thoughts produce electrical impulses, thoughts are things… so on and so forth, so people thought it a neat addition to their research. If you’re interested, the book is available through many online shopping options and retailers. Here’s just one: Thriftbooks.com
A Faraday cage photo courtesy of
To read more of the akashic field/records, this link was chosen simply because it mentions Madame Blavatsky and Edgar Cayce, both of whom wrote books and books have been written about them, and they are part of our library of many subjects. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akashic_records
With all these thoughts of electrical impulses, waves, frequencies, etc., it seemingly suggests that everything is indeed connected in a strange way (almost as if with an ethereal string). Furthermore, that nearly anything is possible. Could it just be so, that we and animals, insects, plants, and anything that has life (which is everything) possess abilities and awareness, latent and not, that far exceeds conventional thought?
One favorite quote: “If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth.” — Chief Seattle
More to know of him HERE.
To further the point about the similarities, or interconnectedness of beings, I wondered if studies have been conducted to study the effects of music on animals’ brains. Most may be incapable of making music, but that doesn’t alter that it is perceived in various ways. Check this out: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/70539/7-scientific-studies-about-how-animals-react-music
Gypsy loves to hear singing and humming, but not music from radio or television. If she’s in a bad mood and snarling, she lays down, hushes, and listens to my singing various childrens’ songs to her, and what I think is her favorite, “Silent Night.” However, I’m pretty sure a couple of Megadeth songs made her frisky one night. We enjoyed watching her play with her hanging toys and performing adorable head whips, I don’t know what to call what she was doing. When she isn’t grumpy, she gives so much love and kisses and has actually invented a few games to play!!
Murph seems indifferent to music. However, his sister, Copper, loved acoustic guitar. Murph has shown intrigue or appreciation for the instrument. He has been exposed to a vast library of music genres, as discussed in “Did You Know Bearded Dragons Are Music Snobs?” and so far, with the exception of acoustic guitar, I pick up nothing that relays enjoyment. But, I’m going to continue the experimentation. A friend of ours suggested I play audio of a lute instrument to see if he reacts. So, stay tuned for that.
Finally, finally, you may not be able to hear what others are saying, but you can see what they’re saying about Lizardplanet.com and Murph. What people are thinking and their support for us is awesome!! We expected nothing like it!! Please visit our page: What People Are Saying.
“Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” – ❤️Dawn
thank you for this writing. I didn’t read everything…will do this at another day.. but it is interesting Gypsy loves hearing singing and humming. Tom also loves this. If we are humming or singing in a special tone, he starts singing himself. He’s howling and singing and talking to us. this is so wonderful.
love to you ♥♥
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Thank you more. : ) I understand, we have things to do, because of that, this took days to collect, type & organize.
Yes, Gypsy does love these. I wish I could hear Tom and everyone sing & howl. I’m sure he sounds as adorable as he looks. Love to you too, Moni.
By the way, things went sideways over here: Our email is not sending updates of new posts from those we follow, and almost no comment notifications. Also, I dropped my phone in a toilet (ugh), so we need to catch up with what others have done by logging in using the computer. Our apologies if we are behind and missing your posts. We’ll catch up. Hugs
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Excellent post, Dawn. I hear ya on all your points. Well sort of. I can’t hear or see for crap these days.
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Does Murph ever look at you when you call his name?
Have you tried Baroque music 🎶 🎼 🎵 (like Vivaldi’s Spring Allegro from his The Four Seasons) for Murph to listen to?
Hi Dawn. this sounds “puuhh”, your fone in the toilet. I always read and type on my laptop when using WP. No problem with getting behind. so am I. I am not so often “online” anymore. I try to spend not much time on the computer.
Things in the whole world, especially in Germany, are sideways, or upside down. What you can read in the papers or see on TV is the opposite of reality. Strange world.
big hug. 🙂
Thanks, Timothy! Bodies aren’t necessarily designed for the long haul. I’m glad you have good music equipment to keep on with your music, just crank up the volume (db). I relate well with the sight. I have rx glasses, but with contacts in, I have 2 strengths of reading glasses to see things closer. In a day I use 3 strengths of glasses, despite not wearing any for the majority of hours. It’s complicated and it’s dumb. I’m not THAT old… $#%&!!
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I feel for you. Sight issues are such a pain.
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Most of the times, yes. When he doesn’t, he tunes in, focusing on me only with his ears. I can tell.
I didn’t doubt that Murph has heard that piece, but I could not recall which concerto this was. We are outside. There’s a lot happening, but when I played it on the laptop, he was more active, looking back at me & across the way (on a loop) and rubbed both sides of his face on the chair. Maybe he had an itch, but he certainly seemed on alert/highly aware. That actually was interesting. I wish I could have recorded it. Thanks.
Good news, they can repair it. Bad news, it will cost close to the phone’s value. But I’ve not transferred all videos and photos of Dad and family to my hard drive, and they are priceless to me. Lesson learned – copy or transfer the important stuff from the phone every chance I get.
Not much time on the computer is good. When we are dying, we are not going to wish we had spent more time in front of a screen.
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I’d love to have seen a video of that. 🙂
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Another great lesson about lizards! Thank you!
Thank you, Balladeer. You kknnooww you want one : )
Hi Dawn, this post is a wonderful exploration of lizard hearing and their unique sensory adaptations.
There is still so much we have yet to uncover and understand, but the journey of exploration and discovery is endlessly fascinating.
Ritish, thank you so very much!
Yes indeed, there is much to uncover and comprehend.
You said that right, the journey is fascinating. It’s a strange paradox, the more we learn, the more knowledged we are, yet sometimes that causes us to see mere glimpses into the extent of that which we do not know.