I was watching Ahsoka videos when it suddenly dawned upon me that she has no ears. After doing some research, it seems neither her horns nor her tentacles serve an auditory function. The other Togrutas in the films and TV shows seem to have the same lack of anatomy, too.

How do Togrutas hear?

  • I've edited your tags as your question wasn't really about races, but about one specific race and their biological make-up (Hence why I left the biology tag)
    – Edlothiad
    Aug 15, 2017 at 12:17
  • They use the montrals on their heads to sense movement around them; it's possible they used these for hearing too, but I can't find this stated explicitly anywhere
    – Allball103
    Aug 15, 2017 at 12:32
  • 4
    Terrible!! No. Wait. Wrong joke...
    – Valorum
    Aug 15, 2017 at 19:54
  • I thought my answer to this one was pretty convincing, featuring a canon quote. Is there anything else you think I should address before considering an acceptance?
    – Valorum
    Sep 21, 2017 at 18:37
  • I've found some additional canon quotes but they're all much of a muchness. Are you waiting for something visual rather than something written?
    – Valorum
    Oct 1, 2017 at 15:29

2 Answers 2


They have ears.

Ahsoka shook herself out of her trance and found that the cleaner was cheerfully butting itself against the door to the shower. She got up to turn it off, and the new sound reached her ears: talking, laughing, and stamping feet. Her new neighbors were home from their day’s work in the fields.

Star Wars: Ahsoka

  • 1
    So are the ears just sitting under their montrals? Wouldn't that muffle hearing? Seems like an impractical biological trait
    – Allball103
    Aug 15, 2017 at 19:58
  • 7
    @Allball103 - Most creatures don't have visible ears. Just mammals. Also, when you have an echolocation organ, you probably don't need to prioritise hearing.
    – Valorum
    Aug 15, 2017 at 21:09
  • 4
    Just pointing out, Dolphins and moles do not have visible ears and they are mammals :). Interestingly, it is believed that they sense soundas vibrations, through their jaw bone and sensitive hairs, respectively. I believe that this is also key in pointing out that this is slightly in line with the legends functionality of Montrals feeling vibrations. I also think that the phrase "reached her ears" is a bit vague and unconvincing :)
    – Josafoot
    Aug 15, 2017 at 22:34
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    Ahsoka spent most of the early evening perched on one of the barstools. Though this meant her back was to the door, it had its advantages: when you don’t look at people, they assume you can’t hear them. She overheard several conversations about Imperial theories that were not intended for her ears. Selda, from his place behind the bar, kept watch under the guise of his usual work. The system functioned pretty well.
    – Valorum
    Aug 15, 2017 at 22:54
  • Impressive... Most impressive :)
    – Josafoot
    Aug 15, 2017 at 22:59

Their Montrals.

*In canon, the functionality of the Montrals is not clearly defined. EDIT: A StarWars.com article (July 2017) restated the Legends material. Does that make it canon?

From the Legends Wookieepedia Article on Montrals (emphasis mine) :

Montral was a word used by the Togruta to refer to the hollow horns atop their heads. The Togruta possessed a form of passive echolocation by means of their hollow montrals which allowed them to sense the proximity and movement of physical objects around them. (1)

Echolocation, often referred to as "bio-sonar" uses properties of sound waves to detect the location of objects.

Echolocation--the active use of sonar (SOund Navigation And Ranging) along with special morphological (physical features) and physiological adaptations--allows bats to "see" with sound.(2)

From this, we can also infer that "Passive Echolocation" is, effectively, "Passive Sonar". Passive sonar is similar to listening for a sound.

From NOAA (emphasis mine)

Passive Sonar Passive sonar systems are used primarily to detect noise from marine objects (such as submarines or ships) and marine animals like whales. Unlike active sonar, passive sonar does not emit its own signal, which is an advantage for military vessels that do not want to be found or for scientific missions that concentrate on quietly “listening” to the ocean. Rather, it only detects sound waves coming towards it. (3)

Notably, passive sonar does "detect sound waves coming towards it", in laymen's terms, it hears.

Going back to creatures who posses Bio-Sonar and echolocation, let's look at land mammals that are capable of echolocation (This is to eliminate some other factors that water presents). Both Bats and humans are capable of using echolocation sense their surroundings. The average bat is far more capable of echolocation; however, there have been some studies that say the human brain is actually suppressing the echoes that it hears as it relies more on sight (These studies are still being worked through, there is a study that also says humans using echolocation are using echolocation and stimulating visual processing sections of the brain) Echolocation Study . While what parts of the brain that are stimulated are in question, one thing remains clear with both species, their ears are the primary receptors of the sound waves.

As I write out the last part of this discussion and due to some comments, I realize there is a major caveat. This does not eliminate that Torgruta hear through other organs (ears) and operate a passive sonar ability through their montrals. I may delete this as this is a large gray area now that I reflect more on it.


  1. Motrals, Wookieepedia (Legends)
  2. Scientific American
  3. NOAA Sonar
  • Echolocation is not the same as hearing. It is spatially focused. Additionally, montrals are not fully grown until adolescence, so they must be using something else to hear, as they are not deaf the first 10-13 years of their life.
    – amflare
    Aug 15, 2017 at 19:29
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    I think the importance of the inverted commas are tossed aside quite easily in this answer. Sonar is quite different to actually making out words. You've made two assumptions to equate to things. It would be the same as me saying an Oven had a window, which is therefore a house, which is effectively a castle, so a castle is the same as an oven.
    – Edlothiad
    Aug 15, 2017 at 19:30
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    Cannon = Big explodey thing that fires balls of metal. Canon = a body of works
    – Valorum
    Aug 15, 2017 at 19:41
  • @Edlothiad, Right there was one more connection to make. Sonar is generally talking about the mechanical devices used by marine vessels, not living organisms using their ears as the listening device. For example, humans, to some degree, are able to use clicking and echolocation (Active Sonar) to "see" (much like bats) and are still able to interpret speech. This is not true for MOST humans, however, humans have not developed to use echolocation as other species have.
    – Josafoot
    Aug 15, 2017 at 19:48
  • @Valorum I just saw that when rereading my post :)
    – Josafoot
    Aug 15, 2017 at 19:48

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