The difference of a single gene can lead to cats with much smaller droopy ears. This mutation is the defining feature of cat breeds like the American Curl and Scottish Fold (pictured).
Other cats will lose their ears due to frostbite or removal of cancerous tissue (as with the cat shown below).
Photo credit: MICHAEL QUICK of "MICHAELS PHOTOGRAPHY de NEMOURS" / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Weasel the terrier(2007) was born not only without pinna (external ear-flaps), but lacking even an entrance to the auditory canal.
Phoenix (2010) is an earless German shepherd. His ears were cut of as part of his use as a bait dog for training fighting dogs. But his story ended well when he was rescued and adopted.
Puppies without ear flaps and sometimes with closed ear canals seem to occur more often in hairless breeds.
The first animal I ever came across that was genetically/naturally earless was a goat at a county fair. The breed originates from Spain and as referred to as a "La Mancha". They are now popular throughout the United States. They have very small, nub-like ears and come in many different coat colors and patterns.
Karakul sheep may also be born with reduced or missing ears.
Creole the hamster (2011) was found in a pet store amongst normally eared hamsters. Apparently this issue is not uncommon in hamsters bred for pet stores.
Wild pigs without ears have been found by hunters at several different locations.
Rabbits are born without ears fairly regularly. A case in Japan recently was linked to a fear of the effects of radiation.
The ear-less rabbit is, however, most likely just a spontaneous occurrence as with other known cases like Xavier (Singapore, 2006), Vincent (United Kingdom, 2008), two unnamed rabbits (China, 2011) and Til (2012). Til was literally a victim of his own fame, dying by being stepped on by a camera man.
Other rabbits lose their ears of maternal over-grooming, cold or abuse.
See also: Vintage photograph of rabbit with no ears.
Congenitally earless individuals have also been observed in other species including rhinoceros.
- PRESS, T. T. (1966). FIRST PUBLISHED 1966 BY ANDRE DEUTSCH LIMITED 105 GREAT RUSSELL STREET LONDON wet COPYRIGHT© 1966 BY CAW GUGGISBERG.
- Simmons, P., & Ekarius, C. (2010). Storey's guide to raising sheep: breeding, care, facilities. Storey Publishing.
Penny Skinner (author) on September 13, 2020:
Except when they don't
A boy on September 13, 2020:
Dogs cats and rabbits have ears!
Property Code : REI126615 on October 08, 2011: