Why do humans and other primates have rounded ears, while most other mammals have pointed ears?


I know that rats and mice have rounded ears too, but they are our next closest relative to apes and monkeys.

In: 3

You kinda answered your question already… other animals that are closely and less closely related to us have rounded ears… so why would we evolve differently? Humans with rounded ears successfully survived and reproduced… so now we still have rounded ears.
Given that we don’t need pointy ears for survival, we could evolve pointed ears only if we suddenly all decided to mingle and have babies only with people that have extremely pointed ears.

Rounded ears help to focus sound waves inward, increasing fidelity at the cost of overall coverage.

Pointed ears help gather more sound, at the cost of fidelity.

Basically, humans and other primates evolved these ears because of the beginnings of language. It more more advantageous to hear exactly what sound your friend made, to be warned of a threat, than to have a slightly better idea where the threat may be if you heard yourself.

Primates, which are usually prey, evolved round ears to hear the environment so they can detect predators.

And predators evolved pointy, sensitive ears so they can hear their prey where they can’t see it.