Monthly Archives: March 2006

Big Ears Latest

BMJ graph correlating ear size and age

Thanks for pointing out that scientists have been studying old persons with big ears since 1993. I was fascinated by the BMJ’s coverage of this and by all the articles and scholarly discussions regarding elderly ears. Here are the theories:
(1) People with big ears live longer. People with small ears die younger. It’s an odd genetic indicator of longevity. So – logically – there are more old people around with relatively big ears.
(2) Our ears do appear to grow faster than the rest of us, expanding by 0.22 mm a year.
(3) It might just be a result of cognitive bias. In other words, we traditionally, stereotypically, expect old men to have big ears, so we notice big-eared old men rather than small-eared ones.
(4) Old ladies have equally big ears, but these are normally obscured by their hairdos.
(5) Rabbits, basset hounds and various other creatures such as Bollinger the cat, Prince Charles, Andrew Marr and Dumbo have large ears throughout their lives.

Bollinger showing off her big ears when she was a kitten