Fisheries Science

, Volume 74, Issue 4, pp 781–786 | Cite as

Underwater sound detection by cephalopod statocyst

  • Kenzo Kaifu
  • Tomonari Akamatsu
  • Susumu Segawa


The cephalopod receptor of particle motion was identified. In a previous study, it was suggested that statocysts served this function, but there was no direct supporting evidence, and epidermal hair cells had not been conclusively ruled out. Experiments on Octopus ocellatus were conducted using respiratory activity as an indicator of sound perception. Intact animals clearly responded to 141-Hz particle motion at particle accelerations below 1.3×10−3 m/s2, and the mean perception threshold at this frequency was approximately 6.0×10−4 m/s2. Specimens in which the statoliths had been surgically removed did not show any response for accelerations up to 3.9×10−3 m/s2 at 141 Hz, which was approximately 16 dB greater than the mean perception threshold at this frequency. Specimens that had undergone a control operation in which the statoliths remained intact showed positive responses at 2.8×10−3 m/s2 for the same frequency stimulus. This indicates that the statocyst, which is morphologically similar to the inner ear system in fish, is responsible for the observed responses to particle motion in O. ocellatus. This is the first direct evidence that cephalopods detect kinetic sound components using statocysts.

Key Words

cephalopod hearing octopus particle motion statocyst 


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ocean SciencesTokyo University of Marine Science and TechnologyTokyoJapan
  2. 2.National Research Institute of Fisheries EngineeringFisheries Research AgencyKamisu, IbarakiJapan

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