Subject: Re: How do whales hear?

Robert Kenney (rkenney@gsosun1.gso.uri.edu)
Wed, 19 Nov 1997 14:22:53 -0500 (EST)

On Sun, 16 Nov 1997 BloosChick@aol.com wrote:

> Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 18:34:01 -0500 (EST)
> From: BloosChick@aol.com
> To: rkenney@gsosun1.gso.uri.edu, pita@whale.wheelock.edu
> Subject: How do whales hear?
> 
> My son is currently working on a research for his 3rd grade class.  We have
> found a wealth of information on whales but they are all missing something-
>  How do whales hear?  It is noted in everything that we read that they
> communicate by making sounds but how are these sounds heard?  We would REALLY
> appreciate you answer.  Thanks so much for your time!
> 
Whales hear just like any other animal, with their ears.  Just because an
animal does not have visible external ears like we might be familiar with
in most mammals doesn't mean that it can't hear.  The "ear" that you see
on the side of your head when you look in the mirror is a structure for
collecting sound and funneling it into your real ear, which is inside your
skull.  Birds have ears, many species far better than yours, but they
never have external ear structures like in mammals.

Cheers,
Dr. Bob

University of Rhode Island
(but answering from the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center,
Andros Island, Bahamas)