I am new at this site, but I've been creating a fantasy story for a while. Now, I'm stuck. I would really like cat people (neko) in my story, but there is a problem! you can't just stick cat ears on someone's head! for the tail, it's easy, it goes on the tailbone, but what about the cat ears? Is it possible for the ears to be like this?:

(best picture i could get) (best picture I could get)

The cat hearing system:

enter image description here

Would it be possible to do this without taking space up from the brain?

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    $\begingroup$ Humans to have space for hearing organs in our head. You just need to adapt angles and placement. $\endgroup$ – Artemijs Danilovs Dec 10 '18 at 2:44
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    $\begingroup$ Are your nekos naturally occurring or are they the product of genetic engineering? If you want them to evolve from humans naturally, you need to give the ears a major survival advantage over our current design. But if they are just the result of science, led by avarice and teen-age fashion sense, then in a few decades, this could be very real. As for relocating the displaced brain matter, how about using the now vacant humn ear canal. $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Dec 10 '18 at 3:55
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    $\begingroup$ Hi Beatriz, did you get a chance to look around the site for questions similar to this one already? There are two that I found, here and here, that may provide some useful answers. $\endgroup$ – Dubukay Dec 10 '18 at 5:01
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    $\begingroup$ The way you've drawn it, no. moisture/insects/dirt would collect in the outer ear canal and make your creature deaf, especially when it rains, this - in the long term would cause serious, unpleasant infections. $\endgroup$ – Rottweiler on market-day. Dec 10 '18 at 5:27
  • $\begingroup$ Please do not forget to add your AC question to the list of AC questions in Meta. It's one of the requirements of the series. $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 29 '19 at 16:36

Human ears are literally just cartilage with a specific shape. The real hearing organ is actually inside the skull. So for your cat ears to be correctly placed, just change the position in which the hearing organs reside in the skull. This would also change the place in the brain to which the nerves are wired to, but this is trivial, so the cat people are plausible.

On the other hand there are some counter arguments. First and more important, human ears are below the center of the brain, in a place at which the brain is quite thin. If you move them towards the thicker part of the brain, there's not enough space for both of them. This fix this, and in answer to your question, either the skull is enlarged or deformed to give space to these organs, or the brain shape changes and adapts to this organ's shape.

Secondly, forward facing ears are, usually, exclusive to predatorial species. So unless the cat people are genetically modified from humans, they should have evolved from a different animal.

  • $\begingroup$ So like this but a bit lower right? $\endgroup$ – Snydwell Dec 18 '18 at 9:12

Elves are known for having pointy ear lobes.

If you start with an elf like ear, add some hair to the lobe and make it more movable to make it more feline, you end up pretty much with a neko appearance, with the hear lobes in the appropriate place for a humanoid being.

Also good sight and superior earing capabilities are shared between cat-oid and elves.


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