As winter approaches, Eurasian red squirrels grow thick tufts of hair on their ears to stay warm.
Photograph by Jack Folkers, Buiten – beeld, Minden Pictures
The basset hound is an excellent sniffer. The low-hanging ears swing around its face as it walks, helping to waft scents up toward its nose.
Photograph by Ernie Janes, NPL, Minden Pictures
The sensitive ears of the greater bilby, a small Australian mammal, help it hear potential predators—even when its head is down in the dirt looking for food.
Photograph by Greg Harold, Auscape, Minden Pictures
A fennec fox’s giant ears, which measure up to six inches long, radiate heat to help it keep cool in its African desert home.
Photograph by Floridapfe from S.Korea Kim in cherl, Getty Images
Scientists think tufts of hair on the tips of a caracal’s ears might help its hearing. That’s good news for the caracal—but bad news for the antelope and rodents it’s listening for in its African and Asian home.
Photograph by Yossi Eshbol, FLPA, Minden Pictures
Known as "whispering bats," brown long-eared bats (found mostly in Europe) make quiet calls, then listen for their echoes. This helps the nocturnal creatures detect obstacles and locate insects to eat.
Photograph by Flip de Nooyer, Minden Pictures
Black-tailed jackrabbits live in deserts and grasslands in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Up to seven inches long, the animal’s ears help regulate its body temperature on really hot days.
Photograph by Tim Fitzharris, Minden Pictures
Servals have the biggest ears of any cat species. They hunt at night in Africa’s savannas, using their huge ears to locate small prey.
Photograph by Shem Compion, FLPA, Minden Pictures
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