Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers closer to understanding the evolution of sound production in fish

16.12.2011
An international team of researchers studying sound production in perch-like fishes has discovered a link between two unrelated lineages of fishes, taking researchers a step closer to understanding the evolution of one of the fastest muscles in vertebrates.

Understanding the evolution of such fast muscles has been difficult for researchers because slow movement of a swimbladder does not generate sound.

In a study published online Nov. 29 in the journal Frontiers in Zoology, Virginia Commonwealth University biologists, together with researchers Hin-Kiu Mok, Ph.D., at the National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan, and Eric Parmentier, Ph.D., at the Université de Liège in Belgium, have found that the pearl-perch belonging to the fish order Perciformes utilizes a hybrid system with characteristics of slow and fast systems. The findings suggest an intermediate condition in the evolution of superfast sonic muscles that drive swimbladder vibration directly. Perciforms are one of the largest orders of vertebrates.

"This work for the first time demonstrates an intermediate condition in the potential evolution of these superfast muscles," said investigator Michael Fine, Ph.D., professor of biology at VCU, who served as corresponding author for the study.

"It's sort of like finding a fossil whale with leg bones indicating affinity to a terrestrial vertebrate, or a dinosaur with feathers indicating potential steps in the evolution of reptiles into birds," he said.

According to Fine, a number of fish produce sounds by contracting superfast muscles that vibrate the swimbladder to produce aggressive and courtship calls. For example, in the oyster toadfish found on the east coast of the United States, swimbladder muscles routinely contract more than 200 times a second when a male is calling for a mate. Fine and his colleagues recently found a group of fishes that produce sound by using slow muscles to pull the swimbladder, which then snaps back - like a rubber band - to produce sound. In this case the pearl perch has a hybrid system that uses a slow system but actually pulls the swimbladder forward with a fast muscle. The fish has a tendon that gets stretched and causes the bladder to snap back, producing the loud part of the sound.

"What is special about this perciform is that its sound producing system appears to have intermediate characteristics between slow systems which are only known in ophidiiform fishes, and fast muscles present in different groups of fishes," he said.

The work was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Council of Taiwan and the F.R.S.-FNRS in Belgium.

About VCU and the VCU Medical Center: Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located on two downtown campuses in Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 216 certificate and degree programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU's 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation's leading academic medical centers. For more, see http://www.vcu.edu

Sathya Achia Abraham | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vcu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>