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Journal ArticleDOI

Neuroethology and life history adaptations of the elasmobranch electric sense.

01 Sep 2002-Journal of Physiology-paris (Elsevier)-Vol. 96, Iss: 5, pp 379-389

TL;DR: It is argued that the ontogenetic and seasonal variation in electrosensory tuning represent an adaptive electrosENSory plasticity that may be common to many elasmobranchs to enhance an individual's fitness throughout its life history.

AbstractThe electric sense of elasmobranch fishes (sharks and rays) is an important sensory modality known to mediate the detection of bioelectric stimuli. Although the best known function for the use of the elasmobranch electric sense is prey detection, relatively few studies have investigated other possible biological functions. Here, we review recent studies that demonstrate the elasmobranch electrosensory system functions in a wide number of behavioral contexts including social, reproductive and anti-predator behaviors. Recent work on non-electrogenic stingrays demonstrates that the electric sense is used during reproduction and courtship for conspecific detection and localization. Electrogenic skates may use their electrosensory encoding capabilities and electric organ discharges for communication during social and reproductive interactions. The electric sense may also be used to detect and avoid predators during early life history stages in many elasmobranch species. Embryonic clearnose skates demonstrate a ventilatory freeze response when a weak low-frequency electric field is imposed upon the egg capsule. Peak frequency sensitivity of the peripheral electrosensory system in embryonic skates matches the low frequencies of phasic electric stimuli produced by natural fish egg-predators. Neurophysiology experiments reveal that electrosensory tuning changes across the life history of a species and also seasonally due to steroid hormone changes during the reproductive season. We argue that the ontogenetic and seasonal variation in electrosensory tuning represent an adaptive electrosensory plasticity that may be common to many elasmobranchs to enhance an individual's fitness throughout its life history.

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01 Jan 2009

91 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The role of learning in behaviour is well known for many animal taxa, including teleost fishes, insects, birds and mammals. However, its importance to sharks in everyday behavioural processes has rarely been considered. Almost 50 years ago the first learning experiments on sharks were conducted; our first section discusses these studies and places them in a framework of associative and non-associative learning. These experiments showed that sharks were capable of different forms of learning, such as operant and classical conditioning and habituation. Sharks could learn associations as rapidly as other vertebrates and also remember training regimes for several months. However, much of this experimental evidence was based on small sample sizes and few shark orders, such as Carcharhiniformes and Orectobliformes, leaving large gaps in our knowledge of the general learning capabilities of other shark orders. We also examine recent research that has tested for, or inferred learning in behavioural processes. This section reveals that sharks, like teleost fishes use learning to improve prey search and capture to potentially navigate and orientate in their home range and recognize conspecifics, heterospecifics and mates. Learning is also discussed in relation to ecotourism and fisheries. Findings indicated that these activities may lead to conditioning of sharks and that considerable effort should go into investigating what impact this could have on the shark species involved. Finally, we discuss the importance of combining laboratory experiments with field studies, the use of new experimental techniques, the role of model species and research priorities for future work.

78 citations


Additional excerpts

  • ...Male stingrays were shown to use their electrosense to detect and locate buried females, whereas females used their sense to locate other females to refuge with them (Tricas et al. 1995; Sisneros and Tricas 2002)....

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Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2005

62 citations


Cites background from "Neuroethology and life history adap..."

  • ...Furthermore, in stingrays, Dasyatis sabina, the frequency response functions change through the reproductive season in wild caught animals and in response to exogenous testosterone treatment in the laboratory, in a way that is consistent with their use of the sense in mating interactions ( Sisneros and Tricas 2000, 2002 )....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Case studies in vocal species where well-delineated sensory and motor pathways underlying reproductive-related behaviors illustrate the diversity and evolution of brain mechanisms driving sexual motivation between (and within) sexes are highlighted.
Abstract: The major classes of chemicals and brain pathways involved in sexual arousal in mammals are well studied and are thought to be of an ancient, evolutionarily conserved origin. Here we discuss what is known of these neurochemicals and brain circuits in fishes, the oldest and most species-rich group of vertebrates from which tetrapods arose over 350 million years ago. Highlighted are case studies in vocal species where well-delineated sensory and motor pathways underlying reproductive-related behaviors illustrate the diversity and evolution of brain mechanisms driving sexual motivation between (and within) sexes. Also discussed are evolutionary insights from the neurobiology and reproductive behavior of elasmobranch fishes, the most ancient lineage of jawed vertebrates, which are remarkably similar in their reproductive biology to terrestrial mammals.

59 citations


Cites background from "Neuroethology and life history adap..."

  • ...Unreceptive female round stingrays also use electroreception to find each other, as they are found buried in groups for refuge late in themating season (Sisneros and Tricas, 2002; Tricas et al., 1995)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is demonstrated that the number of crypt cells in the olfactory epithelium of the crucian carp varies dramatically throughout the year, which may explain previous studies demonstrating a relationship between circulating androgen and Olfactory sensitivity to sex pheromones.
Abstract: Olfactory sensory neurons of vertebrates regenerate throughout the life of the animal. In fishes, crypt cells are a type of olfactory sensory neurons thought to respond to sex pheromones. Here, we demonstrate that the number of crypt cells in the olfactory epithelium of the crucian carp varies dramatically throughout the year. During winter, few crypt cells are observed at any location within the sensory epithelium. In spring, the majority of crypt cells are located deep in the epithelium not yet exposed to the environment. However, during the summer spawning season, crypt cells are positioned at the epithelial surface. These findings may explain previous studies demonstrating a relationship between circulating androgen and olfactory sensitivity to sex pheromones.

54 citations


Cites background from "Neuroethology and life history adap..."

  • ...Its auditory system shows a seasonal plasticity and an enhanced acquisition of auditory information needed for mate identification and localization during the breeding season ( Sisneros and Tricas 2002 )....

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References
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Journal ArticleDOI

7,157 citations



BookDOI
01 Jan 1988-Copeia
TL;DR: This volume constitutes a series of invited chapters based on presentations given at an International Conference on the Sensory Biology of Aquatic Animals held June 24-28, 1985 at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida.
Abstract: This volume constitutes a series of invited chapters based on presentations given at an International Conference on the Sensory Biology of Aquatic Animals held June 24-28, 1985 at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. The immediate purpose of the conference was to spark an exchange of ideas, concepts, and techniques among investigators concerned with the different sensory modalities employed by a wide variety of animal species in extracting information from the aquatic environment. By necessity, most investigators of sensory biology are specialists in one sensory system: different stimulus modalities require different methods of stimulus control and, generally, different animal models. Yet, it is clear that all sensory systems have principles in common, such as stimulus filtering by peripheral structures, tuning of receptor cells, signal-to-noise ratios, adaption and disadaptation, and effective dynamic range. Other features, such as hormonal and efferent neural control, circadian reorganization, and receptor recycling are known in some and not in other senses. The conference afforded an increased awareness of new discoveries in other sensory systems that has effectively inspired a fresh look by the various participants at their own area of specialization to see whether or not similar principles apply. This inspiration was found not only in theoretical issues, but equally in techniques and methods of approach. The myopy of sensory specialization was broken in one unexpected way by showing limitations of individual sense organs and their integration within each organism. For instance, studying vision, one generally chooses a visual animal as a model.

654 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: This is a comprehensive identification guide encompassing all shallow marine fishes within California waters, and many of the family keys have been revised to incorporate recent taxonomic changes and to clarify previously ambiguous terminology.
Abstract: This is a comprehensive identification guide encompassing all shallow marine fishes within California waters. Geographic range limits, maximum size, depth range, a brief color description, and some meristic counts including, if available: fin ray counts, lateral line pores, lateral line scales, gill rakers, and vertebrae are given. Body proportions and shapes are used in the keys and a statement concerning the rarity or commonness in California is given for each species. In all, 554 species are described. Three of these have not been recorded or confirmed as occurring in California waters but are included since they are apt to appear. The remainder have been recorded as occurring in an area between the Mexican and Oregon borders and offshore to at least 50 miles. Five of California species as yet have not been named or described, and ichthyologists studying these new forms have given information on identification to enable inclusion here. A dichotomous key to 144 families includes an outline figure of a representative for all but two families. Keys are presented for all larger families, and diagnostic features are pointed out on most of the figures. Illustrations are presented for all but eight species. of the 554 species, 439 are found primarily in depths less than 400 ft., 48 are meso- or bathypelagic species, and 67 are deepwater bottom dwelling forms rarely taken in less than 400 ft. depth. The deepwater forms included are those taken in commercial trawling gear or that occasionally occur near the surface. An illustrated glossary is included to facilitate use of the identification keys and species descriptions. A comments section presents in detail reasons for certain taxonomic choices and to acknowledge personal communications. Original data presented include a ventral sensory pore pattern key for the skates, 170 geographic range limit extensions, and several depth range and maximum size records. Many of the family keys have been revised to incorporate recent taxonomic changes and to clarify previously ambiguous terminology.

653 citations


Book
01 Jan 1972

575 citations