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Miscellaneous Corn Snake Discussions This is a "none of the above" forum. All posts should still be related to cornsnakes in one form or another, but some slight off topic posting is fine.

Can snakes hear our voices?
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Old 07-28-2017, 03:59 PM   #1
LadyJemima
Can snakes hear our voices?

I was reading this really good blog article (http://snakesarelong.blogspot.com/20...-hear.html?m=1) but noticed it contradicted itself just a bit. At one point it said that snakes can "probably not hear human speech directly, " and later states, "the average human voice is around 250 Hz, which means that snakes can hear us talking as well."

This article is one of the more in-depth explanations of snake hearing I've read (outside of scientific journals). So...the question remains: when we talk to our snakes, do they hear us?


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Old 07-28-2017, 05:37 PM   #2
Tavia
My entirely unscientific opinion/experience, is that they do react some to human speech and other airborne sounds, what exactly they are hearing or how much, I don't know. But it's more than a lot of people seem to think.

I distinctly remember one out door photo shoot I had with a corn snake and she seemed intrigued by the noise the shutter was making, and kept cocking her head to the side and following the camera like she was listening to it.
 
Old 07-28-2017, 06:32 PM   #3
Karl_Mcknight
My snake Rufus on several occasions has turned his head and looked at me when I laughed out loud or yelled (usually when watching TV). I'm quite sure he can hear something, I'm just not sure how much or what.
 
Old 07-28-2017, 06:43 PM   #4
DollysMom
Therefore, the popular notion that snakes are deaf is not true, although hearing is restricted to a limited range of sound frequencies, from approximately 50 to 1000 Hz (= cycles per second). By comparison, humans can sense airborne vibrations in the range from 20 to 20,000 Hz. By definition, hearing refers to the sensory detection of airborne vibrations by the inner ear, as distinct from very low-frequency vibrational stimuli transmitted by the ground or by solid objects that might be in contact with an animal.
Lillywhite, Harvey B.. How Snakes Work: Structure, Function and Behavior of the World's Snakes (Page 168). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
The voiced speech of a typical adult male will have a fundamental frequency from 85 to 180 Hz, and that of a typical adult female from 165 to 255 Hz.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_frequency

Besides from my own anecdotal experience with talking to all of my snakes and eliciting responses, I think there is clear scientific evidence that they can hear us talking to them.
 
Old 07-28-2017, 06:52 PM   #5
Twolunger
Snakes can indeed hear us, especially if we speak loudly. I've read studies that concluded that a snake's peak hearing sensitivity is in the lower frequencies between 200-300 Hz.
Since the average human voice is 250 Hz, it is right in the middle of their peak sensitivity. I do believe talking to our snakes while handling them has a calming effect on them, but that's just an opinion.
 
Old 07-28-2017, 09:18 PM   #6
DollysMom
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twolunger View Post
Snakes can indeed hear us, especially if we speak loudly. I've read studies that concluded that a snake's peak hearing sensitivity is in the lower frequencies between 200-300 Hz.
Since the average human voice is 250 Hz, it is right in the middle of their peak sensitivity. I do believe talking to our snakes while handling them has a calming effect on them, but that's just an opinion.
It may be an opinion but its a good one.

I use certain phrases with my snakes which I believe they do start to associate with events. For example, one phrase I use when changing water is "Fresh water for... " I especially use that one if they are watching, though even when they are in their hides I usually say something when working in their homes. When putting them back in their enclosures I say "... goes home". I talk to them in the same gentle and happy tone of voice I'd use when teaching a small child. I believe that while they don't understand the exact words they associate my intonations with the events.

I may be wrong but it seems to work for us.
 
Old 07-31-2017, 09:10 PM   #7
LadyJemima
Great discussion! Loved reading everyone's opinions!
 
Old 08-01-2017, 09:29 PM   #8
kayjaypah
This is an interesting discussion. I talk to my snakes when handling constantly and always wondered if they could hear me.


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