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Sensory Systems in Sawfishes. 1. The Ampullae of Lorenzini

Wueringer, B.E. and Peverell, S.C. and Seymour, J. and Squire, L. and Kajiura, S.M. and Collin, S.P. (2011) Sensory Systems in Sawfishes. 1. The Ampullae of Lorenzini. Brain Behavior and Evolution, 78 (2). pp. 139-149.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000329515

Publisher URL: http://www.karger.ch

Abstract

The distribution and density of the ampullary electroreceptors in the skin of elasmobranchs are influenced by the phylogeny and ecology of a species. Sensory maps were created for 4 species of pristid sawfish. Their ampullary pores were separated into pore fields based on their innervation and cluster formation. Ventrally, ampullary pores are located in 6 areas (5 in Pristis microdon), covering the rostrum and head to the gills. Dorsally, pores are located in 4 areas (3 in P. microdon), which cover the rostrum, head and may extend slightly onto the pectoral fins. In all species, the highest number of pores is found on the dorsal and ventral sides of the rostrum. The high densities of pores along the rostrum combined with the low densities around the mouth could indicate that sawfish use their rostrum to stun their prey before ingesting it, but this hypothesis remains to be tested. The directions of ampullary canals on the ventral side of the rostrum are species specific. P. microdon possesses the highest number of ampullary pores, which indicates that amongst the study species this species is an electroreception specialist. As such, juvenile P. microdon inhabit low-visibility freshwater habitats.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Fisheries Queensland
Additional Information:© S. Karger AG, Basel
Keywords:Electroreception; pristidae; sawfish; rostrum; ampullae of Lorenzini; morphology; sharks; skates; ray; Australia.
Subjects:Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery for individual species
Science > Zoology > Chordates. Vertebrates > Fishes
Deposited On:12 Dec 2011 03:44
Last Modified:12 Dec 2011 03:44

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