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Published 2006 | public
Book Section - Chapter



The opportunity to participate in both the discovery and the analysis of the structure, function, and use of a completely new sense is a rare event in the biological sciences (Bullock and Szabo, 1986). In the fishes, such an opportunity has occurred not once but twice in recent decades. The electric sense was identified in the elasmobranch and teleost fishes during the 1960s (Murray, 1960; Dijkgraaf and Kalmijn, 1962; Kalmijn, 1966; von der Emde, this volume). Despite having been described nearly three centuries earlier, the function of the ampullae of Lorenzini was not conclusively identified until the work of Dijkgraaf and Kalmijn (1962), and Kalmijn (1966, 1982) in particular. Electrophysiological studies subsequently analyzed in detail the detection of electric fields via the electroreceptor cells located in the ampullae of Lorenzini of the elasmobranch fishes (Clusin and Bennett, 1979a,b) and in the tuberous electroreceptors of some freshwater teleost fishes (von der Emde, this volume).

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© 2007 Elsevier Inc.

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