How minute sooglossid frogs hear without a middle ear.

Abstract : Acoustic communication is widespread in animals. According to the sensory drive hypothesis [Endler JA (1993) Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 340(1292):215-225], communication signals and perceptual systems have coevolved. A clear illustration of this is the evolution of the tetrapod middle ear, adapted to life on land. Here we report the discovery of a bone conduction-mediated stimulation of the ear by wave propagation in Sechellophryne gardineri, one of the world's smallest terrestrial tetrapods, which lacks a middle ear yet produces acoustic signals. Based on X-ray synchrotron holotomography, we measured the biomechanical properties of the otic tissues and modeled the acoustic propagation. Our models show how bone conduction enhanced by the resonating role of the mouth allows these seemingly deaf frogs to communicate effectively without a middle ear.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 3:17:11 PM
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Renaud Boistel, Thierry Aubin, Peter Cloetens, Françoise Peyrin, Thierry Scotti, et al.. How minute sooglossid frogs hear without a middle ear.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , National Academy of Sciences, 2013, 110 (38), pp.15360-4. ⟨10.1073/pnas.1302218110⟩. ⟨hal-00993596⟩



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