The Cochlea in Pteronotus parnellii

Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (volume 28)


Pteronotus parnellii provides an exceptional example among the New World bats so far studied in being able to compensate for Doppler shifts (Schnitzler 1970) and in possessing a cochlea which is sharply tuned to just above emitted frequency at rest (Pollak et al 1972). Structurally the cochlea exhibits a number of specialized features (Pye, A. 1967 and 1978). For example, the basal turn is much enlarged, including an enormous second half-turn which exhibits the largest scala vestibuli found in any of the bats studied. It has recently been reported by Pye, A. (F.I.B.R.C., Albuquerque 1978) that another special feature of the basal turn is the presence of an un-identified substance in the scala tympani, see Fig.1. It is located mainly at the medial and posterior walls of this scala and has also now been found to reach around the round window and the cochlear aqueduct. A smaller area is situated anteriorly, see Fig. 2. This substance has been found in every cochlea of Pteronotus parnellii studied (24 in all) from various locations in Trinidad and Panama. But it is completely absent in Pteronotus davyi and all other bats examined to date (68 species from 14 families).


Doppler Shift Round Window Histological Staining Basal Turn Sonar System 
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  1. Pye, A. 1967. The structure of the cochlea in Chiroptera. III Microchiroptera: Phyllostomatoidea. J. Morph. 121, 241–254PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Pye, A. 1978. Aspects of cochlea structure and function in bats. Proceedings of the Fourth International Bat Research Conference, Kenya National Academy for Advancement of Arts and Sciences, Kenya Literature Bureau.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ade Pye

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