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Do Frogs Have Ears? How Do They Hear?

Do Frogs Have Ears

So you are wondering if frogs have ears, or if they can perceive sound? If yes, you have come to the right place. This article will cover everything you need to know about frog ears and hearing capabilities.

Do frogs have ears? Yes, frogs have ears but do not have lobes like humans and other animals. Their ears are simply tympanum, an external eardrum, located behind the eyes. This area is highly sensitive to sounds and vibrations and enables the frogs to hear and communicate with each other all the time.

This article will dig deeper into the wonders of frogs’ ears and their ability to perceive sounds, how the frogs hear and communicate with no visual ears, the anatomy of a frog’s ear, and other helpful information related to their hearing.

Do frogs have ears?

Frogs have ears because they need to communicate with fellow frogs in the wild.

As you may already know, most frogs communicate by producing vocalizations, thus they need ears to hear their fellow frogs calling to them.

However, the ears of these frogs are completely different from those of humans and other animals and are located in a unique place on their bodies.

Do frogs have ears

While most animals have 3 ears (inner, middle, and out ears), frogs have only two ears namely the external ear and the internal ear. In addition, they have tympanum or tympanic membrane, which acts in the place of the outer ear.

Let’s briefly describe the frog’s ears below:

  • External ear: This ear is situated behind the frog’s eye. Though called the external ear, it is not visible. It is essentially a round, flat-shaped patch on the skin referred to as tympanum (plural; tympana). This ear is highly sensitive to sounds and vibrations.
  • Internal ear: The internal ear occurs on both sides of the frog’s head, behind the eyes. This ear facilitates hearing as well as balance. It has 3 semicircular canals that facilitate balance and hearing.

The tympanum connects to the middle ear, which features 2 small bones. These are responsible for transmitting vibrations from the external ear to the inner ear. Here, they’re converted into nerve impulses that are transferred to the brain for processing.

Frogs use these two ears to perceive a variety of sounds in their surroundings including calls from fellow frogs, sound of prey, and the sound of predators.

Note that they can easily perceive both high and low-frequency sounds, making them better at detecting sounds below the human hearing threshold.

Interestingly, frogs can use more than just their ears to pick up vibrations in their environment.

They can also use their lungs and mouths to hone in on the vibrations—further enhancing their hearing capabilities.

Frog hearing range and sensitivity

Frogs have an excellent hearing range and sensitivity. As we have just said above, they can even detect some low and high-frequency vibrations that we humans and other animals cannot hear.

This incredible hearing capability is essential for the survival of these amphibians in their natural habitat.

They can quickly pick up the sound of predators, and prey, and even communicate with other frogs.

Frog hearing range and sensitivity

Generally, frogs can hear up to 38 kHz (kilohertz)—this is the highest frequency amphibians can perceive according to scientists. This is beyond the human range, which goes up to 20 kHz. (Source).

The hearing sensitivity and range might vary from species to species depending on what sounds they need to detect and their specific habitats.

For instance, arboreal frog species have higher hearing range to enable them to communicate with other frogs and establish territories.

Aquatic species, on the other hand, may feature a low-frequency hearing range to detect predators.

How do frogs hear without visible ears?

Despite the frogs lacking visible ears like us humans, they can still hear pretty well. This is because they have a well-defined auditory system that enables them to pick various sounds in their environment.

As we discussed earlier, these amphibians have their ears internally located. The only visible hearing system is the tympanum, a flat patch that sits just behind the ear.

This part acts as the external eardrum and is sensitive to vibrations which are then transmitted to the inner ear and then converted into electrical signals that are sent to the brain for processing.

How do frogs hear without visible ears

Tympanum helps amplify sounds and vibrations before transmitting them to the inner ear.

Whenever sound hits this patch, it vibrates and then vibrations are then transferred to small bones known as stapes.

These bones then transmit the vibrations to the inner ear, where they are detected by hair cells. The cells convert the vibrations into electrical signals for transmission to the brain for processing.

How do frogs use their ears to communicate?

Frogs produce a variety of unique vocalizations to enable them to communicate with other frogs.

For instance, during mating season the male produces a call to attract the female frogs. The sound hits the female’s tympanum, which then sends it to the inner ear.

How do frogs use their ears to communicate

Once it reaches the inner ear, it is processed by the cochlea, which then sends nerve impulses to the brain. This enables the female to perceive the call and take the appropriate action.

Frogs use their ears in just the same way for other types of communication calls including warning calls for nearby predators, distress calls, territorial calls, etc.

Can frog ear damage occur from loud sounds?

Frog ears are not immune to loud sounds and can be damaged if exposed to them.

Exposing your froggy to loud sounds, e.g. fireworks can cause either temporary or permanent damage to them.

In some cases, the sounds can damage the hair cells in the inner ear and cause total hearing loss and other auditory issues in your frog.

Can frog ear damage occur from loud sound

Frogs inhabiting noisy places such as suburban and urban areas may be even more vulnerable to loud noises. These can adversely affect their behavior, reproduction activities, and even physiology.

We advise you to avoid exposing your frogs to loud noises as much as possible. Avoid any loud activities near their enclosure, environment, or breeding sites.

Why is it beneficial for frogs to have flat ears that do not stick out from their heads?

Frogs having ears that do not stick out from their heads is beneficial in several ways.

Firstly, it helps give them a streamlined body shape. This is helpful for aquatic species as it helps them swim efficiently through the water.

Why is it beneficial for frogs to have flat ears

Flat, invisible ears also help protect them from various environmental hazards in the wild. For instance, since the ears are, they are less likely to be torn by predators attacking the frog or being injured by objects.

Flat ears also improve the frog’s hearing sensitivity. It simply reduces the distance between the eardrum and the ear, enabling sound waves to hit the eardrum much faster and with more force. This increases the frog’s hearing sensitivity.

Do chubby frogs have ears?

Like all the other frog species, chubby frogs have ears. These are essential for their survival in the wild.

Their hearing system is similar to that of other species in that it features external and internal ears that work in just the same way we described earlier on.

Do chubby frogs have ears

In addition, chubby frogs are like other frogs in that they have no visible ears.

Nonetheless, their auditory system enables them to pick a wide range of sounds—including calls from fellow frogs, prey sounds, predator sounds, etc.—enabling them to survive in the wild.


Do all frog species have external ears?

Frogs do not have external ears like humans or other animals like dogs and cats. Instead, they have a circular, flat patch sitting behind the eyes that enables them to perceive different types of sounds.

Do all frogs have ears?

Yes, all frogs have ears because they need to communicate with each other, whether it is during mating season or to warn them about nearby predators, etc. They also need their ears to hear prey. However, they do not have external ears that are visible to your eyes.

Frogs have fascinating sensory abilities, and their auditory capabilities are particularly interesting to explore. If you’re curious about the ears of frogs, you might find our guides on do frogs have tails and can frogs cry intriguing as well. Our article on do frogs have tails provides insights into the anatomy of frogs and explores whether or not they possess tails. Additionally, if you’re interested in the emotional expressions of frogs, our guide on can frogs cry sheds light on this intriguing topic. By exploring these guides, you’ll gain a better understanding of the unique characteristics and behaviors of frogs.


Frogs do have ears and can perceive sound, just like us humans and various other animals on the land. Hearing is crucial for the survival of frogs in the wild. They need to communicate with each other and stay aware of their surroundings. However, their ears are flat and do not have lobes like those of humans.

The amphibians have an external hearing structure known as a tympanum. This part perceives and amplifies sound vibrations before sending them to the inner ear where they are sent to the brain for processing so the frog can take the appropriate action.

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