Sharks, as well as a number of other living primitive fishes, have the amazing ability to detect electric fields in their surroundings. This characteristic -- called electroreception--is thought to be one of the earliest vertebrate sensory systems to appear, but its origins are mysterious. In the journal Palaeontology, investigators have now reviewed the evidence for all putative electroreceptors in early vertebrates.
The researchers applied CT scanning to some of the earliest vertebrate fossils, revealing that early members of the bony fish group already had sophisticated electroreception systems.
"Specialized electroreceptor systems, including elaborated 'pore group' pits in Devonian lungfish and rostral organs in the earliest coelacanths, show that electroreception may have had an important role in niche specialization in early vertebrates," said lead author Dr. Benedict King, of Flinders University, in Australia.
The information contained in this release is protected by copyright. Members of the media may sign up for embargoed news or to request a copy of any study please contact:
Follow us on Twitter @WileyNews
"Electroreception in Early Vertebrates: Survey, Evidence and New Information." Benedict King, Yuzhi Hu, and John A. Long. Palaeontology; Published Online: February 12, 2018 (DOI: 10.1111/pala.12346).
URL Upon Publication: http://doi.
Dr. Benedict King, of Flinders University, at email@example.com.
About the Journal
Palaeontology is the journal of the Palaeontological Association and covers a wide variety of palaeontological subjects. The journal is published by Wiley on behalf of the Palaeontological Association. For more information, please visit the journal home page at http://wileyonlinelibrary.
Wiley, a global research and learning company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 210 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company's website can be accessed at http://www.