How do some earless frogs hear?

A Panamanian golden frog doesn’t actually have any ears, instead this creature uses its lungs to hear vibrations and movement


This frog lacks both a middle and external ear, but it does possess a typical amphibian inner ear. The lungs of this species lies very close to the surface of the frogs skin, when sound waves hit the frogs chest, the lungs vibrate, resulting in the frog hearing sounds through vibrations. In a way, the lungs act as eardrums, letting the frogs communicate with mates. When two males come face to face, they call out to one another and wave, if one of the males does not back down, they carry out a waving match in order to claim dominance over one another. Although these little golden frogs don’t actually have ears like us humans do, they have strong ways in order to communicate with one another, a bit like sign language but in a waving form.


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Photograph: Brian Gratwicke