Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 110, Issue 4–5, pp 291–302

Coupled ears in lizards and crocodilians

  • Catherine E. Carr
  • Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard
  • Hilary Bierman

DOI: 10.1007/s00422-016-0698-2

Cite this article as:
Carr, C.E., Christensen-Dalsgaard, J. & Bierman, H. Biol Cybern (2016) 110: 291. doi:10.1007/s00422-016-0698-2


Lizard ears are coupled across the pharynx, and are very directional. In consequence all auditory responses should be directional, without a requirement for computation of sound source location. Crocodilian ears are connected through sinuses, and thus less tightly coupled. Coupling may improve the processing of low-frequency directional signals, while higher frequency signals appear to be progressively uncoupled. In both lizards and crocodilians, the increased directionality of the coupled ears leads to an effectively larger head and larger physiological range of ITDs. This increased physiological range is reviewed in the light of current theories of sound localization.


Auditory Neural coding Lizard Alligator Barn owl 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
  • DCD000436

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of Maryland College ParkCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark

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