Friday, November 24, 2006

Did You Know Some Insects Hear?

From Creation Moments

All insects that hear, except one, have two ears. Some insects have ears on their legs, thorax, or abdomen. However, they all follow the same principle. Their ears are separated so that they can locate the source of the sound - except in one insect.

Scientists always thought the preying mantis was deaf. The 1,700 species of mantises (as in praying mantis like the photo of one in our garden) have no structure that looks like an ear.

Only after a long process of detailed study and testing did scientists finally discover that the mantis can hear. Further investigation finally led to the discovery of one of the most bizarre methods of hearing anywhere in the animal kingdom.

The mantis's hearing organ is difficult to call an ear. Unlike any other insect, the mantis has only one hearing organ, located in a groove underneath its thorax. The teardrop-shaped groove has a thinner cuticle than other parts of the body. Beneath the cuticle there is a relatively large air sac on each side of the groove. These sacs are connected to the insect's respiratory system. Near the top of the sac are the nerves that carry the sensation of sound to the nervous system.

Scientists say that this hearing organ senses ultrasonic frequencies. When researchers played a bat-like sound to a mantis in flight, it immediately took an evasive flight path to escape the bat it thought it heard.

Source: Creation Moments

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