Do Chameleons Have Ears?

By Carlye Jones

John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If you look closely at a chameleon's head, you'll notice that while there are lots of interesting lumps and bumps, there are no visible ears. While some creatures don't have visible external ears, this is not the case with the chameleon.

Hear, Hear

Chameleons do not have ears. They lack both an outer ear, or the lobe or flap on the outside of the head, and a middle ear, or the structure that captures and carries sound. Scientists are not entirely sure whether chameleons are able to hear vibration through some sort of internal structure that serves as an inner ear, or whether they recognize vibrations through touch. Chameleons are not the only reptiles that lack ears. Most snakes do not have outer or middle ears either, but do have a special bone in their skull known as the quadrate that senses and helps them recognize different types of sound vibrations.

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