Email Print Share

News From the Field

Canal between ears helps alligators pinpoint sound


March 28, 2014

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Alligators can accurately pinpoint the source of sounds. But it wasn't clear exactly how they did it because they lack external auditory structures. Now, a new study shows that the alligator's ear is strongly directional because of large, air-filled channels connecting the two middle ears. This configuration is similar in birds, which have an interaural canal that increases directionality.Full Story

Source
University of Maryland

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

mail icon Get News Updates by Email 

Connect with us online
NSF website: nsf.gov
NSF News: nsf.gov/news
For News Media: nsf.gov/news/newsroom
Statistics: nsf.gov/statistics/
Awards database: nsf.gov/awardsearch/

Follow us on social
Twitter: twitter.com/NSF and twitter.com/NSFspox
Facebook: facebook.com/US.NSF
Instagram: instagram.com/nsfgov