Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 60, Issue 1–3, pp 31–46 | Cite as

The Acoustical Biology of Elasmobranchs

  • Arthur A. MyrbergJr.
Article

Abstract

A report on the auditory capabilities and their associated functions of elasmobranch fishes along with a brief review of the physics of underwater sound as it relates to hearing by fishes is provided. The inner ears of elasmobranchs possess structures that are no different from other fishes, except for an enlarged macula neglecta, which is unique among fishes. Hearing abilities among sharks (the only elasmobranchs examined) have demonstrated highest sensitivity to low frequency sound (40 Hz to approximately 800 Hz), which is sensed solely through the particle-motion component of an acoustical field. Free-ranging sharks are attracted to sounds possessing specific characteristics: irregularly pulsed, broad-band (most attractive frequencies: below 80 Hz), and transmitted without a sudden increase in intensity. Such sounds are reminiscent of those produced by struggling prey. A sound, even an attractive one, can also result in immediate withdrawal by sharks from a source, if its intensity suddenly increases 20 dB [10 times] or more above a previous transmission. Present evidence also shows that the lateral line system does not respond to normal acoustical stimuli. Morphological and physiological evidence suggest that the maculae neglecta possess acoustical relevance and may explain directionality of response despite physical principles that provide still other hypotheses for acoustical directionality. Brain centers controlling acoustical response, particularly among sharks, must be explored in the near future with careful consideration of the habits of subjects based on indications of species-differences regarding the importance of acoustical stimuli to their activities. Numerous facts and ideas about the acoustical biology of elasmobranch fishes make certain that future research will be most rewarding.

hearing underwater sound ear sensory biology sharks rays 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Banner, A. 1967. Evidence of sensitivity to acoustic displacements in the lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris (Poey). pp. 265–273. In: P.H. Cahn (ed.) Lateral Line Detectors, Indiana University Press, Bloomington.Google Scholar
  2. Banner, A. 1968. Attraction of young lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris, by sound. Copeia 1968: 871–872.Google Scholar
  3. Banner, A. 1972. Use of sound in predation by young lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris (Poey). Bull. Mar. Sci. 22: 251–283.Google Scholar
  4. Barber, V.C., K.I. Yake, V.F. Clark & J. Pungur. 1985. Quantitative analyses of sex and size differences in the macula neglecta and ramus neglectus in the inner ear of the skate, Raja ocellata. Cell Tissue Res. 241: 597–605.Google Scholar
  5. Barry, M.A. 1987. Afferent and efferent connections of the primary octaval nuclei in the clearnose skate, Raja eglanteria. J. Comp. Neurol. 266: 457–477.Google Scholar
  6. Bergeijk, W.A. van. 1964. Directional and nondirectional hearing in fish. pp. 281–299. In: W.N. Tavolga (ed.) Marine Bioacoustics, Pergamon Press, New York.Google Scholar
  7. Bergeijk, W.A. van. 1967. The evolution of vertebrate hearing. pp. 1–49. In: W.D. Neff (ed.) Contributions to Sensory Physiology, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Berg, A.V. van den & A. Schuijf. 1983. Discrimination of sounds based on phase difference between particle motion and acoustic pressure in the shark Chiloscyllium griseum. Proc. R. Soc. London B. 218: 127–134.Google Scholar
  9. Bullock, T.H. & J.T. Corwin. 1979. Acoustic evoked activity in the brain in sharks. J. Comp. Physiol. 129: 223–234.Google Scholar
  10. Carrier, J.C., H.L Pratt, Jr. & L.K. Martin. 1994. Group reproductive behaviors in free-living nurse sharks, Ginglymostoma cirratum. Copeia 1994: 646- 656.Google Scholar
  11. Clark, E. 1959. Instrumental conditioning of lemon sharks. Science 130: 127–128.Google Scholar
  12. Corwin, J.T. 1977. Morphology of the macula neglecta in the shark genus Carcharhinus. J. Morph. 152: 341–361.Google Scholar
  13. Corwin, J.T. 1978. The relation of inner ear structure to the feeding behavior in sharks and rays. Scanning Electron Microsc. 1978; II: 1105–1112.Google Scholar
  14. Corwin, J.T. 1981a. Audition in elasmobranchs. pp. 81–102. In: W.N. Tavolga, A.N. Popper & R.R. Fay (ed.) Hearing and Sound Communication in Fishes, Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Corwin, J.T. 1981b. Peripheral auditory physiology in the lemon shark: evidence of parallel otolithic and non-otolithic sound detection. J. Comp. Physiol. 142A: 379–390.Google Scholar
  16. Corwin, J.T. 1981c. Postembryonic production and aging of inner ear hair cells in sharks. J. Comp. Neurol. 201: 541–553.Google Scholar
  17. Corwin, J.T. 1983. Postembryonic growth of the macula neglecta auditory detector in the ray, Raja clavata: continual increases in hair cell number, neural convergence, and physiological sensitivity. J. Comp. Neurol. 217: 345–356.Google Scholar
  18. Corwin, J.T. 1985. Over two million hair cells in a single auditory epithelium. Assoc. Res. Otolaryngol. Abstr. 8: 3–4.Google Scholar
  19. Corwin, J.T. 1989. Functional anatomy of the auditory system in sharks and rays. J. Exp. Zool., Suppl. 2: 62–74.Google Scholar
  20. Corwin, J.T. & R.G. Northcutt. 1982. Auditory centers in the elasmobranch brain stem: deoxyglucose autoradiography and evoked potential recording. Brain Res. 236: 261–273.Google Scholar
  21. Dijkgraaf, S. 1963a. Sound reception in the dogfish. Nature 197: 93–84.Google Scholar
  22. Dijkgraaf, S. 1963b. The functioning and the significance of the lateral line organs. Biol. Rev. 38: 51–105.Google Scholar
  23. Fay, R.R., J.I. Kendall, A.N. Popper & A.L. Tester. 1974. Vibration detection by the macula neglecta of sharks. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 47A: 1235–1240.Google Scholar
  24. Flock, Å. 1967. Transducing mechanisms in the lateral line canal organ receptors. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 30: 133–144.Google Scholar
  25. Görner, P. & A.J. Kalmijn. 1989. Frequency response of lateral line neuromasts in the thornback ray (Platyrhinoidis triseriata). Proc. 2nd Intern. Cong. Neuroethology: 82.Google Scholar
  26. Hawkins, A.D. & A.A. Myrberg, Jr. 1983. Hearing and sound communication underwater. pp. 347–405. In: B. Lewis (ed.) Bioacoustics, A Comparative Approach, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  27. Hopkins, C.D. 1988. Social communication in the aquatic environment. pp. 233–268. In: J. Atema, R.R. Fay, A.N. Popper & W.N. Tavolga (ed.) Sensory Biology of Aquatic Animals, Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  28. Kalmijn, A.J. 1988a. Hydrodynamic and acoustic field detection. pp. 83–130. In: J. Atema, R.R. Fay, A.N. Popper & W.N. Tavolga (ed.) Sensory Biology of Aquatic Animals, Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  29. Kalmijn, A.J. 1988b. Detection of weak electric fields. pp. 151–186. In: J. Atema, R.R. Fay, A.N. Popper & W.N. Tavolga(ed.) Sensory Biology of Aquatic Animals, Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  30. Kalmijn, A.J. 1997. Electric and near-field acoustic detection, a comparative study. Acta Physiol. Scand. 161 Suppl.: 25–38.Google Scholar
  31. Kelly, J.C. and D.R. Nelson. 1975. Hearing thresholds of the horn shark, Heterodontus francisci. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 58: 905–909.Google Scholar
  32. Klimley, A.P. & A.A. Myrberg, Jr. 1979. Acoustic stimuli underlying withdrawal from a sound source by adult lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris (Poey). Bull. Mar. Sci. 29: 447–458.Google Scholar
  33. Klimley, A.P. & D.R. Nelson. 1981. Schooling of the scalloped hammerhead shark, Sphyrna lewini, in the Gulf of California. U.S. Fish. Bull. 79: 356–360.Google Scholar
  34. Kritzler, H. & L. Wood. 1961. Provisional audiogram for the shark, Carcharhinus leucas. Science 133: 1480–1482.Google Scholar
  35. Lowenstein, O. & T.D.M. Roberts. 1951. The localization and analysis of the responses to vibration from the isolated elasmobranch labyrinth.Acontribution to the problem of the evolution of hearing in vertebrates. J. Physiol. 114: 471–489.Google Scholar
  36. Myrberg, A.A., Jr. 1978. Underwater sound - its effect on the behavior of sharks. pp. 391–417. In: E.S. Hodgson & R.F. Mathewson (ed.) Sensory Biology of Sharks, Skates and Rays, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  37. Myrberg, A.A., Jr., A. Banner & J.D. Richard. 1969. Shark attraction using a video-acoustic system. Mar. Biol. 2: 264–276.Google Scholar
  38. Myrberg, A.A., Jr., S.J. Ha, S. Walewski & J.C. Banbury. 1972. Effectiveness of acoustic signals in attracting epipelagic sharks to an underwater sound source. Bull. Mar. Sci. 22: 926–949.Google Scholar
  39. Myrberg, A.A., Jr., C.R. Gordon & A.P. Klimley. 1976. Attraction of free ranging sharks by low frequency sound, with comments on its biological significance. pp. 205–228. In: A. Schuijf & A.D. Hawkins (ed.) Sound Reception in Fish, Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  40. Myrberg, A.A., Jr., C.R. Gordon & A.P. Klimley. 1978. Rapid withdrawal from a sound source by open-ocean sharks. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 64: 1289–1297.Google Scholar
  41. Nelson, D.R. 1967. Hearing thresholds, frequency discrimination, and acoustic orientation in the lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris (Poey). Bull. Mar. Sci. 17: 741–768.Google Scholar
  42. Nelson, D.R. & S.H. Gruber. 1963. Sharks: attraction by low frequency sounds. Science 142: 975–977.Google Scholar
  43. Nelson, D.R. & R.H. Johnson. 1972. Acoustic attraction of Pacific reef sharks: Effect of pulse intermittency and variability. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 42A: 85–89.Google Scholar
  44. Nelson, D.R. & R.H. Johnson. 1976. Some recent observations on acoustic attraction of Pacific reef sharks. pp. 229–239. In: A. Schuijf & A.D. Hawkins (ed.) Sound Reception in Fish, Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  45. Nelson, D.R., R.H. Johnson & L.G. Waldrop. 1969. Responses in Bahamian sharks and groupers to low-frequency, pulsed sounds. Bull. Southern Calif. Acad. Sciences 68: 131–137.Google Scholar
  46. Northcutt, R.G. 1980. Central auditory pathways in anamniotic vertebrates. pp. 79–118. In: A.N. Popper & R.R. Fay (ed.) Comparative Studies of Hearing in Vertebrates, Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  47. Popper, A.N. & R.R. Fay. 1977. Structure and function of the elasmobranch auditory system. Amer. Zool. 17: 443–452.Google Scholar
  48. Richard, J.D. 1968. Fish attracted with pulsed low-frequency sound. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 25: 1441–1452.Google Scholar
  49. Roberts, B.L. 1978. Mechanoreception and the behaviour of elasmobranch fishes with special reference to the acousticolateralis system. pp. 331–390. In: E.S. Hodgson & R.R. Mathewson (ed.) Sensory Biology of Sharks, Skates and Rays, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  50. Sand, O. 1981. The lateral line and sound reception. pp. 459–478 In: W.N. Tavolga, A.N. Popper & R.R. Fay (ed.) Hearing and Sound Communication in Fishes, Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  51. Schellart, N.A.M. & A.N. Popper. 1992. Functional aspects of the evolution of the auditory system of actinopterygian fish. pp. 295–322. In: D.B. Webster, R.R. Fay & A.N. Popper (ed.) The Evoluionary Biology of Hearing, Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  52. Schluger, J. & C.D. Hopkins. 1987. Electric fish approach stationary signal sources by following electric current lines. J. Exp. Biol. 130: 359–367.Google Scholar
  53. Schuijf, A. 1974. Field studies of directional hearing in marine teleosts. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Utrecht, Utrecht. 119 pp.Google Scholar
  54. Schuijf, A. 1975. Directional hearing of cod (Gadus morhua) under approximate free field conditions. J. Comp. Physiol. 98: 307–332.Google Scholar
  55. Schuijf, A. 1981. Models of acoustic localization. pp. 267–310. In: W.N. Tavolga, A.N. Popper & R.R. Fay (ed.) Hearing and Sound Communication in Fishes, Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  56. Schuijf, A. & R.J.A. Buwalda. 1980. Underwater localization - a major problem in fish acoustics. pp. 43–77. In: A.N. Popper & R.R. Fay (ed.) Comparative Studies of Hearing in Vertebrates, Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  57. Schuijf, A. & M.E. Siemelink. 1974. The ability of cod (Gadus morhua) to orient towards a sound source under approximate free field conditions. Experientia 30: 773–775.Google Scholar
  58. Schuijf, A., J.W. Baretta & J.T. Wildschut. 1972. A field investigation on the discrimination of sound direction in Labrus berggylta. Neth. J. Zool. 22: 81–104.Google Scholar
  59. Tester, A.L., J.I. Kendall & W.B. Milisen. 1972. Morphology of the ear of the shark genus Carcharhinus with particular reference to the macula neglecta. Pacif. Sci. 26: 264–274.Google Scholar
  60. Urick, R.J. 1975. Principles of underwater sound. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York. 384 pp.Google Scholar
  61. Vilstrup, T. 1951. Structure and function of the membranous sacs of the labyrinth in Acanthurus vulgaris. Ejnar Munksgaard, Copenhagen. 134 pp.Google Scholar
  62. Wisby, W.J., J.D. Richard, D.R. Nelson & S.H. Gruber. 1964. Sound perception in elasmobranchs. pp. 255–267. In: W.N. Tavolga (ed.) Marine Bio-Acoustics, Pergamon Press, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur A. MyrbergJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric ScienceUniversity of MiamiMiamiU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations