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Prey detection mechanism of elasmobranchs

Biosystems 87(2):322 (2007) PMID 17045390

Elasmobranchs can detect a little amount of electric fields and they have characteristic approach strategies to find an electric dipole source generated by prey or conspecifics. They appear to align the body at a constant angle with the current flow line of the electric field while swimming towards prey. However, it has not been studied how they process the perception of electric fields for the approach behaviour or what kind of neural mechanism is used. We use a model of electrosensory perception with electrodynamics and explore a possible approach mechanism based on the sensory landscape distributed on electroreceptors. This paper presents that elasmobranchs can estimate the direction of the electric field by swaying their head, which will be a basis information for their particular approach behaviour. A velocity profile of voltage gradients and intensity difference among the ampullary clusters can be another cues to detect a prey source.

DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2006.09.029