Can Ball Pythons Hear? – The Special Sound Wave Detection System
You have probably noticed that ball pythons, along with every other snake, do not have ears. And if you didn’t notice this, then you’ve clearly been hiding under a rock for a very long time. But can ball pythons hear?
Can ball pythons hear sound. Can it hear you talk. Or can it hear a predator approaching.
Ball pythons can not hear sounds. However they do know there are sounds. Confusing right. Unlike humans, we can hear noises in many different variations. This is because we have ears. Ball pythons however do not. They have to reply on vibrations to detect noises. They can detect the sound waves which are travelling through the air and through the ground.
These pythons have inner ear systems that consist of everything needed to create a fully functional hearing system. However they can not hear actual sounds as they do not have an eardrum. In addition to this inner ear system, ball pythons have a bone in their jaws called the “quadrate bone”. This bone moves ever so slightly in response too vibrations, whilst they are moving around. What makes this special is that for many years scientist believed that snakes could only detect these vibrations if they were on the ground. But now it has since been discovered, that due to this quadrate bone, snakes can actually detect airborne vibrations also.
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So what can a ball python hear…
Pitch vibrations are measured in hertz, and this is what’s believed to be detected by snakes. It’s thought a ball python can detect frequencies between 50 – 1000 hertz. This is not a lot compared to a human which can hear anything between 20 – 20,000 hertz. So ball pythons only have a very small margin of vibration detection.
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