The cochlear size of bats and rodents derived from MRI images and histology

Chun Jen Hsiao, Philip Hung Sun Jen, Chung Hsin Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


From the evolutionary perspective, the ear of each animal species is built for effective processing of the biologically relevant signals used for communication and acoustically guided orientation. Because the sound pulses used by echolocating bats for orientation and rodents for communication are quite different, the basic design of the mammalian auditory system commonly shared by echolocating bats must be specialized in some manner to effectively process their species-specific sounds. The present study examines the difference in the cochlea of these animal species using MRI images and histological techniques. We report here that, although all these animal species share a similar cochlear structure, they vary in their cochlear size and turns. Bats using constant frequencyfrequency-modulated pulses (CFFM bats) and frequency-modulated pulses (FM bats) for echolocation have a larger cochlear size and more cochlear turns than rodents (mice and rats). However, CFFM bats have the largest cochlear size and most cochlear turns. This difference in cochlear size and turns of these animal species is discussed in relation to their biologically relevant sounds and acoustic behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-482
Number of pages5
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1


  • Bats
  • cochlea size
  • histology
  • MRI
  • rodents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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