Parallel Evolution in Fish Hearing Organs

  • Friedrich Ladich
  • Arthur N. Popper
Part of the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research book series (SHAR, volume 22)


Fishes, as broadly defined to include agnathans (jawless fishes), cartilaginous fishes, and bony fishes, are the earliest vertebrates (Fig. 4.1). Because an inner ear is found in the fossil record of the most primitive jawless vertebrates (Forey and Janvier (1994), it is reasonable to assume that the ear, and possibly hearing, arose quite early in this group or was present in their ancestral chordates. Although there has been some suggestion that vertebrate inner-ear sensory hair cells may be derived from a statocyst-like system invertebrate mechanoreceptive cell, this is very much open to question (reviewed in Coffin et al., Chapter 3). More importantly for this chapter, it is highly likely that the vertebrate ear arose de novo in this group or perhaps in craniate ancestors (see van Bergeijk 1967 and Wever 1974 for a discussion of the origin of the vertebrate ear and Lewis and Fay, Chapter 2, for a discussion of the origin of hearing).


Semicircular Canal Bony Fish Sound Production Sensory Epithelium Auditory Sensitivity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Friedrich Ladich
  • Arthur N. Popper

There are no affiliations available

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