Electroreception by small-spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) embryos in relation to predator detection and avoidance

Jonathan Christensen*, Peter Grønkjær, Anna B. Neuheimer, Rune Kristiansen

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Abstract

Electroreception is an intriguing sense in the animal kingdom, that confers an advantage, when other senses cannot be used. Many shark and ray species spend a prolonged embryonic life stage enclosed in an egg case, where the avoidance of predators is difficult. In this study, we found that late stages of small-spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) exhibit a freeze response that stops ventilation when exposed to electric stimuli. The embryos also showed a short-term tolerance buildup, when exposed to several electrical stimuli over a 40-min period. Surprisingly, The embryos also reacted with a freeze response when the electrical field was turned off, indicating that the embryos reacted to a change in electrical field, rather than the presence of one. Younger embryos showed a significantly longer freeze response than older embryos. This study documents the use of electroreception in small-spotted catshark embryos as a possible predator avoidance response.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftMarine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology
Vol/bind56
Nummer5-6
Sider (fra-til)125-135
Antal sider11
ISSN1023-6244
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2023

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