Understanding Crocodile Ears Could Help Human Hearing
Crocodiles maintain great hearing throughout their long lives by regrowing hair cells in their ears, and researchers at Uppsala University hope that understanding this regeneration may help humans with hearing impairment. Crocodiles can live almost as long as humans and maintain good hearing throughout their lives, whereas 1.2 billion people worldwide have some sort of hearing impairment. The most common cause of impaired hearing is when receptors in the ears stop working, and though these receptors cannot be regenerated in humans, they can be regrown in several nonmammalian species, including crocodiles.
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@gursharan Crocodiles have cell structures that humans lack, which appear to trigger the growth of new hair cells in their ears when old ones are damaged, although it's still unclear what the triggering mechanisms may be. A distinctive characteristic of crocodile ears is that the receptors' sensitivity to different pitches is affected by external temperature, making it perfect for different kinds of dangers in different environments, including land and water.