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J Exp Biol. 2011 Aug 15;214(Pt 16):2697-701. doi: 10.1242/jeb.058750.

Hearing and morphological specializations of the mojarra (Eucinostomus argenteus).

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  • 1Laboratoire de Morphologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, Institut de chimie, Bât. B6, Université de Liège, B-4000 Liège, Belgium.


The air-filled swimbladder acts as an acoustic amplifier for some fish by converting sound pressure into particle motion, which is transmitted to the inner ear. Here, we describe in detail the specialized connection between the swimbladder and ear in the mojarra, as well as a modified cone on the anal fin in which the posterior end of the swimbladder sits. Hearing tests show the mojarra has better hearing sensitivity than other species of fish without a connection. However, mojarras do not seem to use this adaptation for communication. Furthermore, the inclined position of the swimbladder may help the fish to catch their prey more easily, as the swimbladder will be horizontal when they are picking up benthic prey.

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