Have you ever wondered Why do animals have big ears? And What animals has the big ears? If not, Now is the time to look at them, Right!
Yes, Indeed! There are some cute, small, desert animals that all have one thing in common, their “Big Ears” Of Course, As you might think, These remarkably big ears play significant roles.
So, In this article, We’ll look at a list of animals with big ears, as well as the roles they can play.
Cute Animals with Big Ears
The fennec fox is a small fox with unusually big ears found in the Sahara Desert and the Sinai Peninsula. As it belongs to a desert habitat, Its body is well adapted to the desert since they have unusually large ears that dissipate the heat. However, their ears are extraordinary at hearing and can locate the source of sounds more accurately even if it’s from underground.
Smallest fox: The fennec fox is the smallest species of foxes in the world.
The Bloodhound is an interesting dog used by police and law enforcement to track lost people, pets, escaped prisoners, etc. However, They were initially bred for hunting wild animals and also used as a navigation system in the forests. Their unique long floppy and droopy ears that are also known as ‘leathers’ enable them great hearing sensitivity.
A nose with a dog attached: Bloodhound can track, detect and interpret the smell that is as many as 11 days older or 300 hours.
Bassett Hound Dog
The next animal with big ears is a cute dog with floppy ears called Basset Hounds, is the second smell sensing dog after the Bloodhounds, which are identified by large pendulous and droopy ears known as ‘leathers’, two-three colored fur, short legs that enable them to smell the ground continuously and easily while walking, playing, hunting, etc.
Great at smell sensitive: Their dropping ears and skin aid in the catching smell for maximum perception.
The Bushbaby is also known as galagos, nagapies, night monkeys is a nocturnal primate found in East African woodlands and bushlands of Sub-Saharan Africa. Whose ears are big and advanced-a trait common in nocturnal creatures, such that they are closed to avoid unnecessary sound disturbances during sleeping in the daytime, And can rotate independently towards their prey and predators in the dark.
Interestingly, Bush babies are prosimian groups meaning ‘before apes’ that include lemurs, loris, and pottos.
Flemish Giant Rabbit
The next animal with a huge ear is the rabbit called the Flemish Giant rabbit.
Flemish Giant rabbit is a giant domesticated rabbit as their name suggests which was originally bred for meat and fur, and is known to humans by the 16th-century while they were found in Belgium. When it comes to ears of these giants, they are usually broad, long, which can reach about 6 inches in length while their bodies measure about 20 inches only.
Buck is the common name for a male Flemish Giant rabbit while the females are called a doe.
Bracco Italiano Dog
Bracco Italiano is also known as Italian Pointer, Italian Pointing Dog, or simply Bracco belongs to a hunting dog breed that has big ears, a lean body, a large head, white and orange-colored fur. These are commonly used for all types of hunting as they are intelligent dogs and easy to train.
Are not watchdogs: Bracco Italiano are not watchdogs as they usually do not bark and remain calm and playful with their owners.
The next animal with cute and big ears is the antelope called Gerenuk.
The gerenuk also known as the giraffe gazelle is a long-necked antelope found in Africa and the drier parts of East Africa, where they are well adapted to deserts and can live a long period without water. These are the cute antelopes that make you play with them, especially children who surely enjoy their company as these antelopes have long ears, long and lean neck, and limbs with reddish-brown coats, and horns in males only.
Special Glands: The gerenuk have glands in front of their eyes, scent glands on the knee, and also in between the split of the hooves that all play an important role in marking their territories.
Small Animals with Big Ears
California Leaf Nosed Bat
Our next small animal with unusually big ears is the bat called California leaf-nosed bat.
California leaf-nosed bats have big ears that are found in the Colorado River valley in southern California, Western Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, etc. They have weird ears that are big and can grow over 2.5 centimeters and a nose that is erect triangular in shape.
Leaf nosed bat: This bat is called so because it has a leaf-like nose grown above its nose, and California is due to their distribution in the same.
The next small animal with large ears is a rabbit called the English Lop, which is unique as they have the longest ears among many other species of rabbits while also having a long, slender body and wider, 32 inches ears.
Distinctive ears: They have the most distinctive ears that are long, forward-facing, silky fur when measured broad in the middle and round at the tip.
The European hare is also known as the brown hare is a nocturnal species of a hare that should not be confused with the rabbits and are found in Europe and some parts of Asia. Unlike rabbits, hares have large ears and powerful legs that can attain a speed of 70 kmph while running away from predators such as foxes.
Boxing hares: The males of brown hares tend to stand on their hind limbs while fighting with other males, that is actually competing to gain the female mates.
The spotted bat is a bat species with big ears and is very small such that they only weigh about 15 grams. They are identified by their large ears that can reach 4 cm and thus making them one of the large-eared bat species in North America while also having three white spots that distinguish them from the rest.
Unbelievable ears: They can fold their ears around their head while sleeping and unfold them at night by controlling blood flow through their ears.
The Cape Fox is also called the cama fox or the silver-backed fox is a small nocturnal species of fox found in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, southern Africa. They have relatively large, sharp, and pointed ears with an orange-brown or yellowish-brown color on the back of their ears.
South African version of a fennec fox: It is called so because it is the only fox with characteristics of Vulpes present in sub-Saharan Africa.
Big Eared Opossum
Big-eared opossums are nocturnal and solitary marsupials found in South America, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, etc. Its ears are naked, black, and big in size as their names indicate. The black and white-colored fur present at the base of its tails are longer than their hind limbs.
13 Nipples: Big-eared opossums have 12 nipples arranged in a circular fashion with one nipple in the middle of it.
The greater bilby is also known as simply bilby, rabbit-eared bandicoots is a nocturnal and omnivorous marsupial that is found in northwestern and central Australia. The word Bilby refers to ‘long-nosed rat’ in the language Yuwaalaraay. Interestingly, As a nocturnal animal, Bilbies have very long ears that aid in better hearing and a sharp nose aids in a better sense of smell.
Backward pouches: Of course as a marsupial the bilby has pouches but that is in the backward direction to avoid the entry of dirt, mud while burrowing.
The aye-aye is a long-fingered lemur and is also the largest nocturnal primate in the world found in Madagascar. These creatures have large ears that are very sensitive to the movements of insects such as grubs, larvae, etc. Dark fur are nocturnal traits, with a special thin middle finger, rodent-like teeth that constantly grow, and a long tail to balance on the branches.
Interesting way of finding food: Taps on the trees to detect grubs then penetrate a small hole that is large enough to insert its middle long fingers to catch them.
The long-eared hedgehog is a nocturnal and small species of hedgehog found in India, China, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Mongolia, Pakistan, Turkey, Central Asian countries. They have large ears that are about 3-4 cm in length, with a better sense of hearing, enabling them to find prey, and also to avoid predators.
Night wandering animal: Long-eared hedgehogs can wander as much as 9 km in search of food in a night.
Desert Animals with Big Ears
What animal has the largest ears? Of course, Elephants right! But among many species of elephant, What species has the largest ears? African bush elephants. Hurray! We are dealing with the mighty.
African Bush Elephant
African bush elephants found in Sahara deserts in Africa have large ears, of course, other elephants found all over the world also have large ears. However, those living in dry climates, deserts, usually have large ears as they help to dissipate heat through them. While the ears of an elephant are also used to communicate, usually during a battle with other elephants they open their large fan-like ears, aggression, joy are expressed through flapping their ears.
Elephants are mighty: African elephant is the largest land mammal in the world and reaches full size around 35 years which can weigh about 6 tons or 6,000 Kg.
The long-eared jerboa is the animal with big ears and long tail which is actually a small nocturnal rodent inhabited in the desert and is found in northwest China and southern Mongolia. They have large ears that are larger than their heads, mouse-like bodies along with long tails to balance, and long hind limbs like the kangaroo. In a hot desert, its large ears play an important role in keeping their bodies cool by radiating heat outside through their ears.
Can’t be pets: A Long-Eared Jerboa is not allowed to keep as a pet because they usually carry monkey pox.
The mule deer is a nocturnal deer adapted to desert with enough vegetation and is usually found in North America. Its ears are large that look like the ears of a mule so they are named mule deer while these ears can move independently in the direction of the sound source. However, they have other interesting features such as forked antlers while other deers usually have branched antlers.
No upper teeth: Mule deer usually do not have upper teeth. However, they possess a hard palate.
The caracal, also known as desert lynx, is a nocturnal wild cat found in deserts and other regions of Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, India, and other parts of Asia. It has quite large tufted ears that play many roles, enhance hearing ability, act as a sound antenna, camouflage them in the grass, and communicate with other caracals.
High jump: Caracal can leap about 12 ft high and be able to kill the preys such as antelopes, goats, etc that are larger than themselves.
The desert hare, also known as Black-tailed jackrabbits, or simply Jackrabbits is a nocturnal hare adapted to grassland, desert, semi-desert found in Central Asia, Northwest China, India, etc. These have large ears, of course, the hare usually has large ears, but these Jackrabbits have large ears as they help to fetch the excess heat from their bodies and release them through their large ears in the hot deserts.
A black-tailed jackrabbit is not actually a rabbit and does not belong to the rabbit. It belongs to hare and is found only in deserts so they are named desert hare.
Many people ask, Do animals with big ears hear better? So, what do you think? Yes, Of course, animals that are as big as Elephants, Kangaroo, and as small as long-eared jerboa have large ears relative to their bodies that are better at hearing.
Of course, Kangaroos are big and have large ears but we are now showing the largest of all kangaroos called the ‘red kangaroo’ and are also the world’s largest land animal with a pouch that is found in most well-known places such as Australia. These red kangaroos have long and pointed ears, powerful hind limbs, and solid tails.
Kangaroo baby is as small as a bee: The newborn kangaroo called ‘Joey’ is as small as a bee in size. However, it is born after 33 days of mating.
The aardvark is a nocturnal mammal that looks like a pig because of its long pig-like snout and is found in Africa. It is a burrowing animal with noticeable large ears that are better at hearing in the nights as they are nocturnally preying on ants and termites. However, it is not a pig, or not an anteater.
Aardvarks are awkward: Aardvark has rabbit-like ears, pig-like snout, and kangaroo-like tails.
The Dorcas gazelle, also known as the ariel gazelle, is a small gazelle adapted to grassland, desert, semidesert and is found in Africa and Arabia. These are Identified by its noticeable longer ears that are excellent at detecting sound sources while also used for communication and strong horns with lean bodies.
Horns are present in both sexes: Both male and female of Dorcas gazelle have horns that sometimes can have as much as 25 annular rings.
Our next desert animal with big ears seems to be a cheetah but it is not, which is actually a cat called several cats.
The serval cat, also known as giraffe cat, is a wild cat that has a small head, large ears, lean body and is found in the sub-Saharan countries, southern Africa, etc. Its large ears were found to act as radar dishes to locate sound sources of prey, while also sensitive to the movement of animals when they walk and run on grass.
Largest ears: Serval cats are known to have the largest ears of any cat, whose ears are oval in shape with black spots on the back and white of its ears.
Giraffe cat: Among cats, the Servals have the longest legs relative to their body size, so they are fondly called Giraffe cats.
Animals with Small Ears:
The American Pika is also known as mouse hare, rock rabbit, conys, whistling hare, is a small rodent-like mammal that belongs to the lagomorph group to which the rabbit and hares also belong. They are identified by their relatively large ears, brown-black thick fur that makes their tail invisible with a body length of about 18-20 cm.
In winter the pika uses its teeth to pierce the bird’s brain to eat.
The pygmy hippopotamus is a nocturnal animal that is small and cute which was previously considered a hippopotamus but later found it is different species and are found in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast, West Africa, etc. Interestingly, While they are diving in water, their small ears and large nostrils are closed to prevent entry of water.
They can eat as much as about 50-75 Kg of grass in a night.-That drives you crazy, If you think of it as a pet.
The Arctic fox is also known as the white fox, polar fox, snow fox, which is a small type of fox that are found in Arctic regions such as from Canada to Russia, Europe, Greenland, and Iceland.
These Arctic foxes compared to other foxes have small ears relative to their bodies to avoid heat loss in the arctic where negative temperature is common, simply water can freeze easily and immediately.
Fur color changes according to the season: In summer they have brown, while in winter thick white fur, which all helps in camouflage.
The polar bear is the largest land carnivore found in the Arctic region and the Arctic Ocean that’s been considered as a marine mammal because of its adaptation to sea ice where they live and hunt mainly seals and other aquatic animals.
Surprisingly! Even though Polar bears weigh about 800 Kg they have such small ears because it’s their natural adaptation to snow and water habitats to avoid heat loss through their ears.
One adult male of Polar bears can weigh up to 800 Kg – that’s equivalent to a 10 man weight.
Other animals with small ears are :
- African civet
Read More : Animals With Big Nose
Why do Animals have Big Ears?
Animals have the big ears for the following reasons :
- To increase their hearing ability, especially nocturnal animals.
- To avoid heat loss through their large ears, especially the desert animals.
- To avoid large predators, especially if the prey are small and weak that can’t face the predators.
Why do Animals have Small Ears?
Animals have Small Ears because to avoid heat loss through their ears, If they live in a cold climate and to avoid entry of water into their ears, If they live underwater.