|MadSci Network: Zoology|
Yes, they do. However, reptilian ears are unlike ours in that they don't have any external structures to help in the collection of sound. For most reptiles having external ears like ours would actually reduce their ability to hear what's going on around them, in much the same way that it's harder for you or me to hear someone talking behind us. Most reptiles have other sensory organs, especially the eyes, on the sides of their head. This enhances the animal's ability to sense the environment on all sides, rather than emphasizing what's in front, like our eyes and ears do. Reptilian ears appear as holes in the side of the animal's head, behind the eye and about midway down between the eye and the corner of the mouth. In some reptiles the ear holes are covered by a scale so they are not easy to see. Internally, reptilian ears are very similar to mammalian ears. They both use a series of bones and membranes to transmit changes in air pressure (This is what sound really is) to a liquid-filled cavity. The vibrations in this liquid stimulate "hairs" attached to specialized nerve cells. These cells change the movement of the "hairs" into electrical impulses that are transmitted to the brain.
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