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  1. Pinkymcfiddle

    Pinkymcfiddle Banned

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    Senses

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Pinkymcfiddle, May 6, 2017.

    I have a slight dilemma. My alien has two eyes, but I know if they were to have one eye they might have difficulties with depth perception.

    Unfortunately they only have one ear. Does that mean they keep shouting in people's faces? I would prefer it if they did not bellow every passing comment, but if that is the price to pay for the one ear, located centrally on their face, like a glorious ear-nose, then that is the price I will have to pay!

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Staff Contributor

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    I think they'd be able to judge distances pretty good, but directional judgement would be impaired (i.e. where the noise is coming from).

    ETA: That's the reason humans have two ears, one on each side of the head. If your aliens only have one, they need to swivel their head from one side to the other to be able to judge where the noise source is.
     
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  3. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Is it possible for the single ear to have an external structure (think about our ear's external structure) that would help the being differentiate where sound comes from? It seems to me that such an arrangement would get favored over one that has no ability to track direction, on evolutionary terms.

    ETA: For example, most odontocetes (toothed whales), have bilaterally asymmetrical skulls. These are also the whales that make most use of echo location. The asymmetry of the skull allows them to orientate the position of returning echo clicks.
     
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  4. Pinkymcfiddle

    Pinkymcfiddle Banned

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    I suppose they could have Klingon ridges all over there face, but it will only hit the one drum. i.e. they would still be screaming in people's faces like maniacs.
     
  5. Pinkymcfiddle

    Pinkymcfiddle Banned

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    @Wreybies if Barbra Streisand were a man, would you find him attractive?
     
  6. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    If they only have one ear, it would be symmetrical and centrally located
    on their head. Maybe like a satellite or radar dish in fixed position for
    maximum reception of sound waves.
    You could simply move their ears to another part of the body, like some
    spiders and insects have them.

    Just some ideas, otherwise stick with your Loud Howard aliens.
    It would not be as funny in context though. :p
     
  7. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    As an alien, this is not absolute. Biological symmetry is a movement and energy impetus. Thus, the likelihood of symmetry being typical on the alien's planet depends on the forces behind their evolution and their environment. Symmetry helps organisms move and uses their energy more efficiently. But that still depends on the conditions of its planet. Judging by what NASA is seeing and anticipating on other worlds (in particular that exoplanets are looking really, really wet), it's probably the case, but is not an absolute.
     
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  8. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Fair enough. Though symmetry is the preferred standard based on theory.
    The whole mobility and such, thing. Until we actually encounter a species
    that can function without some form of A-symmetric features that functions,
    it is the best guess we have to work with. :p
     
  9. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    All true. I just wanted to clarify that Pinkymcfiddle has room for such a species.

    I'm having trouble with the wording of your sentence. But -- Gastropods and adult flounders are good examples. The pincers of crabs. Additionally, there are species with some external asymmetry, such as the wrybill.
     
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  10. Ettina

    Ettina Senior Member

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    Judging from the one person I met, a human who is deaf in one ear will seem pretty typical unless you happen to be directly on the side of their bad ear when you try to talk to them, in which case they'll have trouble hearing you. I'm guessing localizing sound is tougher, too.

    With your aliens, I'm guessing that the ear will be positioned differently. Do they have a cup shaped ear like most mammals? If so, then they'll hear better when the opening is pointing at the sound, and worse when it's pointed away. I believe flat ears (like reptiles and birds) are less directional, but I think it's also harder to localize with them.
     
  11. QueenOfPlants

    QueenOfPlants Active Member

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    I don't quite understand why having one ear will make the aliens scream. I mean - the ear could still be sensitive. Like a dog's ears or whatever.
    The only problem would be locating noise sources, as was already stated.

    Hah, looking up on dog ears I got an idea how your alien can maybe locate noise sources:
    Dogs can turn their ears with 18 muscles. Now, if the alien can turn its ear too, it can use both the angle of the ear and the intensity of the noise to deduct the origin.
     
  12. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    Also, maybe they have patches of skin (or whatever) that are slightly more sensitive to vibration than the rest of them. Sort of a secondary system that "amplifies" their hearing ability and allows them to detect what direction sound is coming from. None of them are sensitive enough to actually interpret the sound with anything like the sensitivity of an ear. Think of them like the alien equivalent of eye-spots. That could help explain why they have a central ear, especially if the ear is very, very sensitive. They use their ear-spots to detect vibration, and then home in on it with their one microphone-like ear.
     
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  13. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I too am puzzled by this. Why would the way that they can hear affect the way that they speak?
     
  14. QueenOfPlants

    QueenOfPlants Active Member

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    Well, people who don't hear their own voice due to hearloss tend to speak louder. I guess pinky thought one ear automatically means hearing less.
     
  15. joe sixpak

    joe sixpak Banned

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    ==========

    nope
    They hear in mono not stereo and have trouble locating where sound comes from
     
  16. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    I would recommend coming up with a backstory to your creature. Why are it's senses the way that they are?

    Our ears are the way that we are because the earliest proto-animals were bilaterally symmetric. We're the same right and left. Other configurations evolved: radial symmetry and fractal design, but bilateral is the only one that took off for complex life. Those early animals quickly turned into fish. The earliest fish could not hear, they sensed vibrations in the water through their body. Through competition and survival of the fittest, evolution favored those who's main vibration sensors were closest to the head (faster communication to the brain means faster reaction.) So parts of the fish stared to specialize. A set of ribs that originally supported the gills started to move and reshape to produce early ears. That's why we and everything else that evolved from fish have two ears.

    So how did your one-eared creature come to be?
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
  17. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    I'm pretty sure it has more to do with energy conservation and positional convenience. At 34 m/s, having an eye on the farthest limb isn't going to be enough of a difference to matter in even the largest animals. But constantly sending those highly specific signals to the brain at that distance throughout the day would eat up more calories. Throughout the day, our eyes and ears (and the nose in fauna) are processed more actively than the feelings in our toes or hooves. It's also better to have those remote senses in close proximity because the brain can more fluidly process that information. Were the ears at the far ends of the body and the eyes at the other end, then that would demand extra processing and thusly extra energy. But I am only speculating.

    ETA
    Having the ears close to the head and the eyes at the farthest end, for example, would yield a signal difference that I think would increase energy cost in reconciling that information.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
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  18. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    Ah, yup. I remember this:

    "Neuronal computation is energetically expensive. Consequently, the brain’s limited energy supply imposes constraints on its information processing capability. Most brain energy is used on synaptic transmission, making it important to understand how energy is provided to and used by synapses."
    Synaptic Energy Use and Supply
    Julia J. Harris, Renaud Jolivet, David Attwell, Neuron - vol75 no5
    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2012.08.019
     
  19. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You can find an incredible range in nature here on Earth. If it can evolve, it most likely has evolved. You need to consider the medium sounds is transmitted through because air and water transmit sound waves differently.

    Tiny 'earless' frog hears sound with its mouth, scientists say


    You might have to look a lot of these terms up (I did) but this article looks to contain a wealth of knowledge about the evolution of variations of hearing mechanisms: Mechanics of the exceptional anuran ear
    I agree with others here, shouting makes no sense. If the alien developed speech of some kind, no doubt it evolved along with whatever hearing mechanisms evolved so the being would have compensated regardless of hearing.

    It could be however, if you want your being to shout, that they simply talk more loudly to each other than humans do. Consider something like the vocalizations of howler monkeys.

    My latest new discovery is the unusual bird call of a puffin. Scroll down on this page and you can play the sound. I had no idea. I've been watching a puffin burrow cam and I can't wait to hear the chick when it hatches.
     

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