Can Snakes Hear Music

Snakes are fascinating creatures that have been the subject of many myths and legends throughout history.

One of the most common questions people have about snakes is whether they can hear music.

The answer is not a simple yes or no, as it depends on how you define “hear” and “music.”

According to Smithsonian’s national zoo and coverstatio institute, snakes cannot hear music in the same way that humans or other animals with ears can. Snakes do have ears, but they do not have an outer ear or eardrum that would allow them to hear sound waves. Instead, they sense sounds through vibrations in the ground and air. However, this doesn’t mean that snakes are completely deaf to sound.

So, can snakes hear music? While snakes cannot hear music in the same way that humans do, they are sensitive to certain types of sound, particularly low-frequency vibrations. Snakes detect sound waves through their lower jawbone, which is attached to their inner ear. This means that they are most likely to be able to hear bass tones and drums in music.

Do Snakes Hear Music?

Snakes have a unique way of detecting sound, and it differs significantly from how humans and many other animals perceive auditory information.

Instead of relying on external ears, snakes use their lower jawbone, which is connected to their inner ear, to sense sound waves and vibrations in the ground and air.

Due to this, their hearing capabilities are primarily tuned to detect low-frequency vibrations.

As a result, one could argue that snakes can technically “hear” music, but their experience is entirely different from ours.

For instance, snakes are more likely to detect bass tones and drums in a song, compared to higher pitched melodies and tones.

However, their ability to recognize specific tunes and sounds like humans is limited, as their auditory system is more focused on sensing vibrations and ground movements.

When it comes to the types of music snakes may hear or be more responsive to, it’s difficult to pin down their preferences.

Some studies suggest that snakes could be more sensitive to music with strong basslines and rhythmic drum patterns, but it’s important to remember that their perception of music is vastly different from our own.

In conclusion, while snakes can detect some aspects of music, their experience and understanding of it are not the same as ours.

Their unique auditory system provides them with valuable information about their environment, but it also means that their “listening” experiences are more about sensing vibrations and low-frequency sounds rather than enjoying melodies and harmonies the way humans do.

Can Snakes Enjoy Music?

When it comes to snakes enjoying music, there isn’t any empirical or scientific evidence suggesting that they can actually react to or appreciate it.

Their hearing and brain structure simply aren’t equipped to respond to or derive pleasure from music.

However, they can hear parts of music that fall into their audible range, such as music with strong bass tones source.

While music may not bring enjoyment to snakes, many of them seem unbothered by it.

Most snake owners can safely listen to their music without causing any issues for their scaly companions.

In summary, snakes, due to their limited hearing capabilities, cannot truly enjoy music as humans do.

However, they are capable of detecting certain elements of sound, particularly low-frequency vibrations.

How Snakes Hear

Snakes are fascinating creatures that have evolved unique ways to sense their environment.

One of these senses is hearing, which is different from how humans and many other animals hear.

In this section, we’ll explore how snakes hear, including the structure of their ears and the frequency range of their hearing.

Structure of Snake Ears

Unlike humans and many other animals, snakes don’t have external ears. Instead, their ears are located inside their heads, and they don’t have eardrums. Snakes hear through a combination of their lower jawbone and inner ear structures.

When sound waves travel through the air, they cause vibrations in the ground. These vibrations travel through the snake’s body, and the lower jawbone picks them up.

The vibrations then travel through a bone called the quadrate, which is attached to the inner ear structures.

This bone acts like a lever, amplifying the sound waves and sending them to the inner ear.

The inner ear structures of snakes are similar to those of other animals.

They consist of three parts: the cochlea, the vestibule, and the semicircular canals.

These structures are responsible for detecting and processing sound waves and sending signals to the brain.

Frequency Range of Snake Hearing

Frequency and Hertz

Snakes have a unique hearing range compared to other animals and humans.

Their hearing primarily focuses on detecting low-frequency vibrations, allowing them to sense prey and potential threats in their environment.

While humans can hear between 20 to 20,000 Hz, snakes’ hearing range is much narrower, falling below the 600 Hz mark (source).

These vibrations can either be airborne or transmitted through the ground, ultimately providing the snake with vital information.

For example, a snake can detect frequencies between 50 Hz and 1,000 Hz in the environment, helping them track their prey (source).

Peak Sensitivity

The hearing sensitivity of snakes also varies, with some studies indicating peak sensitivity between 200 Hz and 300 Hz, and others suggesting a range of 80 Hz to 160 Hz (source).

This variation in sensitivity depends on the species of snake and its specific adaptations. For instance:

  • Snake A could have a peak sensitivity that falls within the lower range of 80 Hz to 160 Hz.
  • Snake B might have a higher peak sensitivity, between 200 Hz and 300 Hz.

Due to this difference in hearing ranges, some snake species may be better at detecting certain prey items or avoiding specific dangers than others.

To summarize, snakes have a unique and specialized hearing range, focused on detecting low-frequency vibrations that aid them in finding prey and avoiding potential threats.

These sensitive hearing capabilities can vary among snake species, with distinct adaptations that allow them to thrive in their particular environments.

Effects of Music on Snake Behavior

There has been no conclusive scientific evidence to show that snakes respond directly to music.

Nonetheless, it’s important to note that their ability to detect low-frequency vibrations suggests that certain types of melodies might have some impact on a snake’s senses in specific ways.

In popular culture, snake charming is a well-known practice that seems to suggest snakes can be charmed by music.

However, the reality behind this phenomenon is actually related to the snake charmer’s movements rather than the music itself.

The snake is attracted to the charmer’s waving motion of the pungi, a reed instrument carved out of a gourd.

Popular Science debunks the myth of snakes being charmed by music.

It is worth mentioning snakes do communicate with each other, particularly in courtship behavior.

When a snake encounters another snake of the same species, it may exhibit specific behaviors to attract the potential mate.

This communication, however, is not reliant on music but rather on their ability to detect vibrations and body movements.

In conclusion, while the effect of music on snake behavior is still not well understood, their unique method of perceiving and detecting vibrations might offer some clues as to how certain melodies could potentially influence their behavior.

However, more research is needed to establish if and how snakes truly respond to musical stimuli.


While many people may wonder if snakes can hear music, the answer is no. Snakes do not have external ears, and their brains are not large enough to analyze sounds like humans do.

Instead, they rely on vibrations in the ground to sense their surroundings.

Although snakes may be able to detect some sounds, they do not have the ability to recognize melodies or tones in music.

While some studies suggest that snakes can feel vibrations from low-frequency sounds, such as bass tones in music, it is unlikely that they actually enjoy it.

By being responsible pet owners and providing them with the proper care and attention, we can ensure that they thrive in their environments and continue to be a valuable part of our ecosystem.

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