, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 18-21

Influence of low temperature on the discharge mechanism of the electric fish Torpedo marmorata and T. ocellata

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The influence of low temperature on the discharge of a part of the electric organ, evoked by electrical stimulation of the nerve leading to it, has been studied on in vitro nerve-electric tissue preparations of the fishes Torpedo marmorata or T. ocellata placed into sea water of different temperatures. It has been found that the amplitude of the discharge of the electric tissue made up from serially organized electroplaques sharply decreases at temperatures below 15 °C. The latent period of discharges increases most markedly at lower temperatures (about 10 °C). Experiments have been performed during July and August on fish caught in the Kotor bay of the Southern Adriatic. Questions related to the dissociation of different aspects of the intrinsic mechanism of the discharge generation by temperature, and to the possible significance of this finding with respect to the ecology of this fish, as well as possible adaptation mechanisms involved, are discussed.

Communicated by E. A. Pora, Cluj