Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The frog with selective hearing

At Mysterytopia:
A new study found that the frogs have selective hearing, enabling them to listen to the high frequency range when the low frequency background noise of rushing water is too intense for them to pick out the calls of potential mates or rivals. The frogs do this by opening and closing canals in their eardrums called Eustachian tubes to adjust the range their ears are sensitive to.


"In all textbooks on sound communication and hearing in frogs, it is plainly stated that the Eustachian tubes are permanently open!" The discovery, described in this week's issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may help researchers design better hearing aids for humans that can hone in on important frequency ranges.
A cool discovery, for the "we don't know as much as we think we do" category. But I am compelled once again to point out that the correct phrase is "home in on," not "hone in on."

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