Navigation Links
Specialization for underwater hearing by the tympanic middle ear of the turtle

A group of biologists from Denmark and the US led by Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard, University of Southern Denmark, and Catherine Carr, University of Maryland, have shown that the turtle ear is specialized for underwater hearing. The new discovery is published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B March 21st , Special features of the turtle ear a large, air-filled middle ear and a movable tympanic disk increase its sensitivity for underwater sound. Laser measurements of disk vibrations in response to underwater sound show up to 100-fold larger vibrations of the disk than the surrounding water, most likely because the air volume resonates in an underwater sound field and drives the tympanic disk.

The tympanic middle ear is often seen as an adaptation to hearing in air, but the turtle tympanic ear is an anomaly here, because turtles are generally 100-fold less sensitive than other animals with eardrums, like mammals, birds and reptiles.

However, turtles are amphibious animals, and anatomical and biophysical studies by a group of biologists from Denmark and the US have shown that the ear of the red-eared slider is specialized for underwater rather than airborne sound.

CT scans, laser measurements from the ear under water and auditory evoked responses showed that the turtle ear was more sensitive for underwater than for airborne sound. The sensitivity is caused by the air filled middle ear. Resonance in the air cavity lined by the tympanic disc drives the disc and amplifies its vibrations up to 100 fold under water.

What the turtle is using its sensitive underwater hearing for is unknown. However, the sensitive hearing can be used for prey capture, predator avoidance and navigation under water. An alternative possibility is that turtles communicate by underwater sound. Underwater sound communication is unknown in the red-eared slider, but has recently been described in two other turtle species.


Contact: Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard
University of Southern Denmark

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Einstein researchers discover key to cell specialization
2. Study in underwater laboratory may help manage seaweed-eating fish that protect coral
3. UM doctoral student receives the Zale Parry Scholarship from Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences
4. NOAA, Spain announce cooperative arrangement to preserve maritime underwater heritage
5. Underwater gliders may change how scientists track fish
6. IEEE touts NJIT professor for expertise in underwater acoustic communication
7. MBARI sends underwater robot to study Deepwater Horizon spill
8. Scientists report first remote, underwater detection of harmful algae, toxins
9. Toward cheap underwater sensor nets
10. An underwater drugstore?
11. Little Salt Spring underwater archeological site in Florida receives new funding
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/20/2015)... , November 20, 2015 ... company focused on the growing mobile commerce market and ... Gino Pereira , was recently interviewed on ... will air on this weekend on Bloomberg Europe ... America . --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 17, 2015 Paris from ... --> Paris from 17 th until ... biometrics innovation leader, has invented the first combined scanner in ... same scanning surface. Until now two different scanners were required: ... can capture both on the same surface. This innovation ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... Nov. 12, 2015  A golden retriever that stayed ... dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new lead for treating ... the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the ... . Cell, pinpoints a protective ... the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s lab of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... Dr. Harry Lander , President of Regen, ... Chief Science Officer and recruits five distinguished scientists ... , President of Regen, expands his role to include ... five distinguished scientists to join advisory team --> ... to include serving as Chief Science Officer ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... ... Global Stem Cells Group announced that its scientific team is in the ... cells. The announcement starts a new phase toward launching the simple, quick system for ... lipoaspirate obtained from liposuction of excess adipose tissue. , Lipoaspirate, contains a large ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Partnership includes an MPP licen ... niversity , s Solid Drug Nanoparticle (SDN) Technology ... up through cost cuts of priority ... licensees based anywhere in the world will have the right to make, use and ... , where licensees based anywhere in the world will have the right to make, ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... globally touring exhibition Jurassic World: The Exhibition, opening in March 2016 at Melbourne ... on a worldwide tour including several North American tour dates. The Exhibition is ...
Breaking Biology Technology: