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Tiny rainforest frogs hear with their mouths

Published on Sep 3, 2013 6:03 AM
 
This undatated photo shows a Gardiner's frog. Some of the tiniest frogs on Earth have no middle ears or eardrums but can hear by using their mouths, scientists said on Monday. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (AFP) - Some of the tiniest frogs on Earth have no middle ears or eardrums but can hear by using their mouths, scientists said on Monday.

Gardiner's frogs live in the rainforests of the Seychelles, a series of 115 small islands in the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar.

Most frogs have eardrums on the outsides of their heads. The eardrums vibrate when incoming sound waves hit, sending the vibrations to the inner ear, then the brain.

But not the wee Gardiner's frogs, which measure about a centimeter long or the size of a thumbtack.

 
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