My alien species is mostly "diurnal", but relies a lot on echolocation to find its way around. Although it has eyes and lives in places in which light availability isn't a problem, it's main prey item during the year is most abundant in a gallery of caves underground. For that reason (and due to its ancestral origin), the creatures rely mostly on their 4, incredibly sensitive ears (essentially a slightly toned down version of "a quiet place monster" levels of sensitivity) both to listen for potential prey as well as to echolocate its way throughout the tunnels and galleries. However, due to competition against its own species and other creatures (as well as personal aesthetic purposes), I wished for them to be able to retract their external ears to prevent damage caused by things such as bites, preferably in a way that aided in preserving their hearing by further muffling loud sounds and thus better protecting their inner ears when they're not in use.
My main issue is that I don't think there's anything similar among the the known animal species of our world, with the closest I've found being how bats can temporarily "unplug" their own sensitive ears so their powerful pulses don't cause hearing problems (which I also plan for my creature to have. Would it be truly beneficial to have external ears capable of "retracting" into a special fold of skin or even into the ear canals (like some people seem to be able to)? If possible, I'd also like to know if such a mechanism could evolve naturally.