European Journal of Wildlife Research
It has been postulated that the excellent sense of hearing in moose is mostly due to: (1) the large surface of the external ear, (2) better stereophony due to the large distance between ears, (3) independently movable, extremely adjustable pinna, and (4) the amplification of sounds reflected by the palms of the antlers. The last factor, possible reflection of sounds into pinna by the palm of the antlers, was tested in this study on a large antler trophy of Alaskan moose. The reception of a standard tone, broadcast from the frontally placed speaker, was recorded by a sound level meter located in an artificial moose ear. Three locations of the ear, as positioned relative to the speaker, e.g., frontward, sideward, and backward, were tested. The weakest reception was recorded in the backward position of the ear. If the sound pressure measured in the frontward position was set as 100%, the sound pressure in the backward position was 79%. The strongest reception was recorded when the artificial ear was positioned toward the center of the antler palm. In this position, the sound pressure was 119% relative to the frontward position. These findings strongly indicate that the palm of moose antlers may serve as an effective, parabolic reflector which increases the acoustic pressure of the incoming sound.
Bubenik, George A. and Bubenik, Peter G., "Palmated Antlers of Moose May Serve as A Parabolic Reflector of Sounds" (2008). Mathematics Faculty Publications. 213.
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10344-007-0165-4