Hare's ears. How do they work?
July 12, 2013 7:14 AM   Subscribe

I was watching a video with brown hares in it and noticed the great mobility they seem to have with their ears. What's the anatomy there that allows for that? I searched, but can't seem to find any anatomical drawings of their ears. Does anyone know where I can find one?
posted by verytepid to Pets & Animals (2 answers total)
The search is very hard because of conflicting homonyms and overlapping terminology. I didn't find the result you are looking for but I did want to say that I was moving toward a better answer by searching on "lagomorph" instead of "hare".

Also, while the answers from origami's "rabbit fold" seem like more of the same muddying the waters, I suspect that origami may provide part of the answer to how mobile those hare ears are, so I wouldn't discard those results, just look at them carefully.

My other suspicion is that while ear folding is part of it I think also the skin and muscles on the head surrounding where the ears attach may provide some of the answer for overall mechanical movement, especially ear sloping, twist and tilt.

Good luck on your search.
posted by kalessin at 9:27 AM on July 12, 2013

The muscle structure would be pretty much the same as a dog's ears, for which you'll find much better information. Here's a very beautiful and clear diagram from the top of a dog's head, you can see where the rotations come from. A couple of scans from Animal Painting and Anatomy.
posted by Erasmouse at 10:10 AM on July 12, 2013

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