Dolphins surprised the scientists feel the electric field

December 4, 2011 22:57

In their experiments, the scientists blocked the work of unusual authority to deprive animals elektrosensornyh abilities (photo A. Liebschner).
Unusual ability found in the Guiana dolphin German researchers. It turned out that these cetaceans is an organ that can feel electric fields. In higher mammals, scientists are finding it the first time.

Dolphins are famous for their echolocation abilities, but apparently, nature is suggested that this is not enough, and awarded Dolphin species Sotalia guianensis sense electric fields.

Told about the discovery in a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Dr. Wolf Hanke (Wolf Hanke) and his colleagues at the University of Rostock.

Scientists are interested in these grooves on the top of the muzzle of dolphins when they viewed images of the thermal imager, clearly showing the activity of these zones (photo A. Liebschner).
Biologists initially investigated suspicious areas on the face dead Guiana dolphin. They then carried out experiments with a living creature, in which the animal could learn to respond to the field produced fish (weak interferences generated in the course of the muscles and nervous system).

"This feeling probably helps dolphins in search of prey at short distances, when sonar is not as effective," — says Hanke.

It is possible that other large ocean inhabitants have the same ability, because they sometimes feed near the sea floor.

Wolf argues that the senses can detect the electric field evolved from tendrils (whiskers) of the ancient ancestors of the Guiana dolphins.

These receptors respond to mechanical changes (example: hair cells of the inner ear that transforms the signal from the sound waves into nerve impulses.) Over time, they seem to have learned to respond to other stimuli. Moreover, this transformation has occurred by the standards of history rather quickly.

Note that similar elektrosensornye abilities previously found only in fish, amphibians and some primitive mammals — the platypus and echidna. Most likely, all of them necessary organs have evolved independently.

Julia Rudy

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