|How do dogs hear higher pitches than us? And what
colors can dogs see?|
|Question Date: 2018-05-23|
Dogs are better at hearing than us because
their ears proved essential to their ancestors
survival (as well as their ability to smell).
Anatomically (physical traits), dog ears are
made up of 18 muscles, while human ears only have
six. These extra muscles mean that dogs have
greater control over how their ears move (so
they can point them towards the sound source),
where humans can only move their ears slightly (we
generally move our head). This means that dogs can
tilt and rotate their ears to funnel sound into
the inner ear more efficiently. Additionally, the
shape of some dog breeds ears (the outer part)
are made to better amplify sound, just like
when people hold their hands up to their ears to
try and hear something better.
Finally, a dog’s ear canal is considerably
longer than human's, which helps to more
accurately discern sounds. A dog’s cochlea, which
is a part of every mammal’s inner ear, makes 3 1/4
turns compared to the 2 1/2 turns in humans. These
extra turns are thought to improve hearing of
Humans hear between the frequencies of 20 Hz
and 20,000 Hz; with 2,000 Hz being the level we
hear best. Dogs can't hear quite as low as we
can -- their range begins at around 40 Hz -- but
dogs can hear up to 60,000 Hz. A dogs best
hearing occurs at 8,000 Hz. Dog whistles, which
have really high frequencies, are above our range
of hearing but in a dog’s range of hearing.
Hope that helps!
The reason that dogs can hear higher pitches is
that their ears are shaped differently from
human ears, though the exact range of a dog's
hearing depends on its age and breed. Generally
speaking, though, dogs have more muscles in
their ears than humans do, along with longer ear
canals, and the ability to move their ears.
All of these factors combined mean that dogs'
ears can receive and amplify (make louder) sounds
that humans would not be able to hear, which is
why they can hear higher pitches.
As for eyes, compared to humans, who have
three different types of cells in their eyes with
which to see color, dogs have two. The
three types in humans allow us to see blue, green,
red, and any combination of those three, resulting
in the rainbow colors that we can see. In dogs,
one of the two types of cells is similar to the
type in humans that see blue light, the other type
falls between red and green. This means that
dogs see shades of yellow and blue, in addition
to black and white.
This is cool. I never would have guessed that
it's the outside part of dogs'ears that let them
hear higher pitches than we do:
"The real key to better hearing in dogs is the 18
or more muscles that control a dog’s pinna, or ear
flap. These numerous muscles allow a dog to finely
tune the position of his ear canal to localize a
sound, hear it more accurately, and from farther
away. For this reason, dogs with upright ears,
such as terriers, tend to have superior hearing to
dogs with floppy ears, such as hounds. It
also means that dogs are much more sensitive to
loud noises than are humans. Loud noises that are
tolerated by humans may be scary or even painful
hearing in dogs
Color vision comes from cone cells in our
retinas - the backs of our eyes. We have 3
types of cone cells that see 3 colors and all
combinations of those colors. Dogs only have 2
types of cone cells, and they don't have as many
cone cells as we do, so they see fewer colors, and
those colors don't look so bright. But dogs'
eyes have more rod cells than our eyes do, so they
can see in dimmer light, and they can detect
motion better than we can.
Here's the website, and it has cool diagrams of
the colors we see and the colors dogs see.
" Dogs are near-sighted creatures and do not
see clearly at distances of more than 20 feet. So,
while they are able to detect movement at great
distances, they don't have the ability to
differentiate between a person and a small tree."
Thanks for your question. It was fun to learn this
Dogs have red-green color-blindness. This
means that they can easily see blue and
purple and tell them apart from the other
colors, but they have a hard time telling
green, yellow, brown, and red apart.
Read a great answer for this question on the
Sound is caused by vibrations in the air or in
a fluid, and a higher pitch means that the air
is vibrating at a higher frequency. Before
dogs were domesticated by humans ~15,000 years
ago, they were hunters , and having good
hearing enabled them to find prey rustling in the
brush. Ears are specialized to be able to convert
these vibrations into electrical signals that can
be interpreted by the brain, and dog's ears have
evolved the ability to perceive higher pitches
than humans. Inside the ear is a snaillike cavity
called the cochlea that is filled with
fluid and lined with hair cells . These
tiny hairs can detect vibrations and convert them
to electrical signals that are transmitted to the
brain. The cochlea in a dog’s ear has more
spiral turns and is covered with more hairs than a
human cochlea. Having more hair cells means
that dogs can detect sounds better than humans.
Most vertebrates other than mammals have excellent
color vision. This includes birds, fish, insects,
amphibians, and reptiles. However, around the time
of the dinosaurs, the mammals from which
today's mammals are descended, lost the ability to
see red. Precisely, they lost the red cones
in their retina. So dogs, like most mammals are
called dichromats, meaning that they see
only two types of primary colors (green and blue).
This means that dogs have poor color vision, but
they see some color. Dogs see mostly greys and
some blues, greens and yellows, but not reds or
oranges. Interestingly, during evolution, primates
(monkeys) regained the ability to see the reds.
Primates are unique among placental mammals in
that they are trichromats, meaning that they
can see three types of primary color (blue, green,
and red). There is a theory that color vision
evolved in primates to help them find ripe fruit
to eat in trees. Color vision is an evolutionary
advantage to these animals because their diet is
fruit. When a fruit is ripe it turns color, and
so animals that can see in color are able to find
ripe fruit easier. Since humans are descendants
from primates we have inherited trichromatic color
vision. However, some people are "color
blind," which usually means that they have
trouble distinguishing certain colors, most
Click Here to return to the search form.
Copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.