Skip to main content

Magnets in guitarfish vestibular receptors


Black magnetic particles are intermixed with white crystalline otoconia in the inner ear gravity receptors of a saltwater ray. Their size and composition suggest that they are multidomains of magnetite-ilmenite.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. V. Wilson and G. Melvill Jones, eds, Mammalian Vestibular Physiology, p. 41. Plenum Press, New York 1979.

    Google Scholar 

  2. C. Walcott, J.L. Gould and J.L. Kirschvink, Science205, 1027 (1979).

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. J.L. Gould, J.L. Kirschvink and D.S. Deffeyes, Science201, 1026 (1978).

    Google Scholar 

  4. R. Blakemore, Science190, 377 (1975).

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. R.B. Frankel, R. Blakemore and R.S. Wolfe, Science203, 1355 (1979).

    Google Scholar 

  6. D.J. Lim and W.C. Lane, Archs Otolar90, 283 (1969).

    Google Scholar 

  7. D.J. Lim, Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Lar.82, 23 (1973).

    Google Scholar 

  8. D. Carlstrom, Biol. Bull.125, 441 (1963).

    Google Scholar 

  9. D.P. O'Leary, R.F. Dunn and V. Honrubia, Nature251, 225 (1974).

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. D.P. O'Leary, R.F. Dunn and V. Honrubia, J. Neurophysiol.39, 631 (1976).

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. D.P. O'Leary and V. Honrubia, J. Neurophysiol.39, 645 (1976).

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. J.J. Groen, O. Lowenstein and A.J.H. Vendrik, J. Physiol., Lond.117, 329 (1952).

    Google Scholar 

  13. R. Budelli and O. Macadar, J. Neurophysiol.42, 1479 (1979).

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. O. Macadar, G.E. Wolfe, D.P. O'Leary and J.P. Segundo, Expl Brain Res.22, 1 (1975).

    Google Scholar 

  15. O. Lowenstein and T.D.M. Roberts, J. Physiol., Lond.110, 392 (1949).

    Google Scholar 

  16. O. Lowenstein and T.D.M. Roberts, J. Physiol., Lond.114, 471 (1951).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

Acknowledgments. We thank Dennis Fulgoni for technical assistance and the Instituto de Investigaciones Pesqueras, Cadiz, Spain, for assistance in obtaining guitarfish. This work was support in part by grant NS 12494, from the National Institute of Communicative Disorders and Stroke.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

O'Leary, D.P., Vilches-Troya, J., Dunn, R.F. et al. Magnets in guitarfish vestibular receptors. Experientia 37, 86–88 (1981).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Magnetic Particle
  • Saltwater
  • Vestibular Receptor
  • Gravity Receptor