Electroreception and electrolocation in platypus

  title={Electroreception and electrolocation in platypus},
  author={Henning Scheich and Gerald Langner and Christopher R. Tidemann and Roger B. Coles and Anna Guppy},
Electroreceptors with sensitivity in the microvolt range, which mainly function to detect live prey, are well known in phylogenetically old fishes and some amphibians1–4. In African mormyriform and South American gymnotiform fishes this sense has evolved to an active system using an electric organ as a source for impedance measurement of the environment and for communication5,6. Electroreception in higher vertebrates has not previously been reported. Here we establish that the platypus, the… 
Electroreceptors in the platypus
Direct electrophysiological evidence is presented for the existence of electroreceptors in the bill of the platypus, which has been known since the last century that the bill contains densely packed arrays of specialized receptor organs and their afferent nerves.
Electroreception in the Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis)
The results show that electroreceptors can evolve from a mechanosensory organ that nearly all mammals possess and suggest the discovery of this kind of electroreception in more species, especially those with an aquatic or semi-aquatic lifestyle.
Passive electroreception in aquatic mammals
The morphology, function and origin of the electroreceptors in the two aquatic species, the platypus and the Guiana dolphin, are reviewed: both species search for prey animals in low-visibility conditions or while digging in the substrate, and sensory thresholds are within one order of magnitude.
Electrolocation in the platypus--some speculations.
  • U. Proske, E. Gregory
  • Biology, Medicine
    Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology
  • 2003
The cortical convergence of electrosensory and tactile inputs suggests a mechanism for determining the distance of prey items which, when they move, emit both electrical signals and mechanical pressure pulses.
Electroreception and the Feeding Behaviour of Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus: Monotremata: Mammalia)
It is demonstrated for the first time that platypus are indeed sensitive to electrical waveforms that imitate the electromyogenic potential’s of fleeing prey, and following stimulation show interest in area surrounding the electrodes.
Responses of electroreceptors in the platypus bill to steady and alternating potentials.
1. This is a report of further observations on the response characteristics of electroreceptors in the bill of the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, first described by Gregory, Iggo, McIntyre &
Electroreception in monotremes.
  • J. Pettigrew
  • Biology, Medicine
    The Journal of experimental biology
  • 1999
Electroreception in monotremes is compared and contrasted with the extensive body of work on electric fish, and an account of the central processing of mechanoreceptive and electroreceptive input in the somatosensory neocortex of the platypus, where sophisticated calculations seem to enable a complete three-dimensional fix on prey.
Use of electroreception during foraging by the Australian lungfish
Results show that N. forsteri is capable of perceiving the weak electric fields surrounding living animals, and suggest that it uses this information when foraging to locate prey hidden from view.
Evolution and physiology of electroreceptors and electric organs in Neotropical fish
Under a phylogenetic hypothesis, it is possible to deduce the multiple “inventions” of both electroreceptors and EOs in fish.
The paddlefish rostrum functions as an electrosensory antenna in plankton feeding
It is proposed that the rostrum constitutes the biological equivalent of an electrical antenna, enabling the fish to accurately detect and capture its planktonic food in turbid river environments where vision is severely limited.


Principles of Electrolocation and Jamming Avoidance in Electric Fish
Neuronal Mechanisms Linked to Jamming Avoidance and Electrolocation Under Jamming conditions and Behavioral Measures of electrolocation Performance are studied.
The organization of the sensory and motor areas of cerebral cortex in the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)
The organization of sensory and motor regions of the cerebral cortex has been studied in the platypus and a large single area of somatosensory representation in the posterior region of the hemisphere was found.
Food of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) with notes on the food of brown trout (Salmo trutta) in the Shoalhaven River, N.S.W
Feeding in the platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus was investigated by identifying material found in the cheek pouches of animals trapped in nets in a study area on the upper Shoalhaven River, N.S.W.