Moose’s Sharp Hearing Attributed to Antlers

From: The Guardian

They are some of the most extravagant headgear in the animal kingdom, but a moose’s antlers are not just for show. Scientists believe they act as elaborate hearing aids that help males to find calling females.

A study has found that the antlers’ sound-gathering qualities boost the hearing of the animals by 19%.

Moose, which are called elk in Europe, are well-known for their impressive hearing. Their ears are more than 60 times larger than those of a human, and their calls can travel nearly two miles.

Scientists had previously suspected the antlers helped with locating mates because males with them were found to be better able to locate females than those without.

George Bubenik, of the University of Guelph, Ontario, and his son Peter, of Cleveland State University in Ohio, decided to test the antler amplifier hypothesis by using a moose skull and a fake ear made by a TV special effects team.

The two scientists put a microphone inside the fake ear, placed between the sweeping Alaskan moose antlers.

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