The anuran ear is frequently used for studying fundamental properties of vertebrate auditory systems. This is due to its unique anatomical features, most prominently the lack of a basilar membrane and the presence of two dedicated acoustic end organs, the basilar papilla and the amphibian papilla. Our current anatomical and functional knowledge implies that three distinct regions can be identified within these two organs. The basilar papilla functions as a single auditory filter. The low-frequency portion of the amphibian papilla is an electrically tuned, tonotopically organized auditory end organ. The high-frequency portion of the amphibian papilla is mechanically tuned and tonotopically organized, and it emits spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. This high-frequency portion of the amphibian papilla shows a remarkable, functional resemblance to the mammalian cochlea.