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The constant ambient air temperature is physical mechanism which, in random fashion, creates sound waves that resonate within air column leading to eardrum. It follows then, that these incoherent sound waves create a "resonant pressure" on eardrum, similar to what it is like when you hold a seashell to your ear and sound waves bounce around. The resonant pressure fluctuates and increases random firing of nerve cells in auditory system. Transmitted from auditory system to brain, these random firings result in noise that masks or obscures a signal that contains speech or other useful information.
The smaller shape of monkeyís ears means that monkey is faced with a lot more "seashell-type roar" and noise than humans take in. "So thatís what average monkey is faced withóa lot more white noise is created in little ear that blocks outer ranges of sound. This also explains historic bank of data that indicates that monkeys hear a smaller range of sounds than humans do.
So, in essence, my little Ziggyís ears get a lot of ambient noise and those dumb looks in a chaotic setting can be written off to her diminished hearing, or, letís say her not hearing at a comfortable level. ###
Andrea Campbell is author of Bringing Up Ziggy: What Raising A Helping Hands Monkey Taught Me About Love, Commitment, and Sacrifice. She frequently writes about monkeys, forensic science, criminal justice, writing and partiesÖ.
Andrea Campbell is the author of eight books on a variety of subjects including forensic science, criminal law, and primatology.