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The hearing abilities of the prawn Palaemon serratus
Lovell, J.M.; Findlay, M.M.; Moate, R.M.; Yan, H.Y. (2005). The hearing abilities of the prawn Palaemon serratus. Comp. Biochem. Physiol., Part A Mol. Integr. Physiol. 140(1): 89-100.
In: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A. Molecular and Integrative Physiology. Elsevier: New York. ISSN 1095-6433, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

    Hearing; Palaemon serratus (Pennant, 1777) [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Crustacean; Sensory system; Hair cell; Evoked potential;

Authors  Top 
  • Lovell, J.M.
  • Findlay, M.M.
  • Moate, R.M.
  • Yan, H.Y.

    The mechanism of sound reception and the hearing abilities of the prawn (Palaemon serratus) have been studied using a combination of anatomical, electron microscopic and electrophysiological approaches, revealing that P. serratus is responsive to sounds ranging in frequency from 100 to 3000 Hz. It is the first time that the Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) recording technique has been used on invertebrates, and the acquisition of hearing ability data from the present study adds valuable information to the inclusion of an entire sub-phylum of animals when assessing the potential impact of anthropogenic underwater sounds on marine organisms. Auditory evoked potentials were acquired from P. serratus, using two subcutaneous electrodes positioned in the carapace close to the supraesophageal ganglion and the statocyst (a small gravistatic organ located below the eyestalk on the peduncle of the bilateral antennules). The morphology of the statocyst receptors and the otic nerve pathways to the brain have also been studied, and reveal that P. serratus possesses an array of sensory hairs projecting from the floor of the statocyst into a mass of sand granules embedded in a gelatinous substance. It is the purpose of this work to show that the statocyst is responsive to sounds propagated through water from an air mounted transducer. The fundamental measure of the hearing ability of any organism possessing the appropriate receptor mechanism is its audiogram, which presents the lowest level of sound that the species can hear as a function of frequency. The statocyst of P. serratus is shown here to be sensitive to the motion of water particles displaced by low-frequency sounds ranging from 100 Hz up to 3000 Hz, with a hearing acuity similar to that of a generalist fish. Also, recorded neural waveforms were found to be similar in both amplitude and shape to those acquired from fish and higher vertebrates, when stimulated with low-frequency sound, and complete ablation of the electrophysiological response was achieved by removal of the statocyst.

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