Apr 4, 2014

Multisensory integration and behavioral plasticity in sharks from different ecological niches

PloS One
Jayne M GardinerPhilip J Motta

Abstract

The underwater sensory world and the sensory systems of aquatic animals have become better understood in recent decades, but typically have been studied one sense at a time. A comprehensive analysis of multisensory interactions during complex behavioral tasks has remained a subject of discussion without experimental evidence. We set out to generate a general model of multisensory information extraction by aquatic animals. For our model we chose to analyze the hierarchical, integrative, and sometimes alternate use of various sensory systems during the feeding sequence in three species of sharks that differ in sensory anatomy and behavioral ecology. By blocking senses in different combinations, we show that when some of their normal sensory cues were unavailable, sharks were often still capable of successfully detecting, tracking and capturing prey by switching to alternate sensory modalities. While there were significant species differences, odor was generally the first signal detected, leading to upstream swimming and wake tracking. Closer to the prey, as more sensory cues became available, the preferred sensory modalities varied among species, with vision, hydrodynamic imaging, electroreception, and touch being important for o...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Vertebrates
Establishment and Maintenance of Localization
Sphyrna tiburo
Mustelus canis
Jaw
Diagnostic Radiology Modality
White catfish allergenic extract
Laboratory Studies
Dye Test
Teleost fish

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