A small team of researchers from the University of Oldenburg revealed that barn owls do not loss their hearing at older age. Obtaining more knowledge about the “ageless ears” of barn owls could provide solution in developing new treatments for human hearing problems.
Most everyone knows that hearing loss happens in older age because humans and other mammals are not capable in regenerating sensitive cells inside the ear. Hearing losses due to the damage accumulates over time.
Older age birds experiences little hearing loss, but according to the new research the barn owl suffers no hearing loss at all. And the human losses more than 30 decibels of sensitivity to high-sound frequencies after crossing age of 65.
There’s no any association between the hearing ability of young and very elderly prisoner barn owls up to 23 years old. Owls keep their hearing function into very old age.
The team of researchers, led by Dr. Ulrike Langemann said, “Overall, our data indicate that barn owl ears do not deteriorate with age.”
“The lack of hearing loss in our old barn owls is remarkable, given that the average life expectancy of barn owls is rather low.”
The research was conducted on seven captive barn owls. The birds were instructed to receive the food by flying to a pole.
Generally, barn owls only live to the age of three or four in the wild. They keeps their hearing to hunt prey at night.