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The coelacanth rostral organ is a unique low-resolution electro-detector that facilitates the feeding strike
Berquist, R.M.; Galinsky, V.L.; Kajiura, S.M.; Frank, L.R. (2015). The coelacanth rostral organ is a unique low-resolution electro-detector that facilitates the feeding strike. NPG Scientific Reports 5(8962): 5 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep08962
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Berquist, R.M.
  • Galinsky, V.L.
  • Kajiura, S.M.
  • Frank, L.R.

Abstract
    The cartilaginous and non-neopterygian bony fishes have an electric sense typically comprised of hundreds or thousands of sensory canals distributed in broad clusters over the head. This morphology facilitates neural encoding of local electric field intensity, orientation, and polarity, used for determining the position of nearby prey. The coelacanth rostral organ electric sense, however, is unique in having only three paired sensory canals with distribution restricted to the dorsal snout, raising questions about its function. To address this, we employed magnetic resonance imaging methods to map electrosensory canal morphology in the extant coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae, and a simple dipole ‘rabbit ears’ antennae model with toroidal gain function to approximate their directional sensitivity. This identified a unique focal region of electrosensitivity directly in front of the mouth, and is the first evidence of a low-resolution electro-detector that solely facilitates prey ingestion.

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