Afferent synapses on both free-standing and tectorial hair cells in the alligator lizard's cochlea are described quantitatively. Semiserial sections were photographed with a transmission electron microscope. Hair cells together with their afferent nerves were reconstructed and morphometrically analyzed with the aid of a computer. Each afferent nerve forms many synapses with its hair cell. Tectorial afferents make more than twice the number of synapses with their hair cells as do free-standing afferents. This suggests a possible neuroanatomical basis for the physiological difference in synchrony reported in these two types of auditory nerve fibers; namely, the greater the number of synapses the better a fiber is able to follow faithfully the response of its hair cell.