Evolutionary biology: The origin of terrestrial hearing

  title={Evolutionary biology: The origin of terrestrial hearing},
  author={Jennifer Alice Clack},
  • J. Clack
  • Published 12 March 2015
  • Physics
  • Nature
A study of the African lungfish reveals that it has a rudimentary ability to detect pressure waves caused by sound. The finding expands our knowledge of how hearing evolved in early tetrapods, the first vertebrates to have limbs and digits. 

Evolutionary trends in directional hearing

Conserved and divergent development of brainstem vestibuloacoustic nuclei

It is found that the developmental origin of a chick sound localisation circuit supports its emergence from an ancient vestibular network, unrelated to the analogous mammalian counterpart.

Conserved and divergent development of brainstem vestibular and auditory nuclei

It is found that the developmental origin of the chick auditory interaural time difference circuit supports its emergence from an ancient vestibular network, unrelated to the analogous mammalian counterpart.

Evolution of Sound Source Localization Circuits in the Nonmammalian Vertebrate Brainstem

It is proposed that similar direction-sensitive neurons were present in the early aquatic tetrapods and that selection for sound localization in air acted upon preexisting brain stem circuits like those in fishes.

Development and evolution of the vestibular apparatuses of the inner ear

This review will provide an overview of known inner ear anatomy and function and summarize the exciting discoveries behind inner ear development and the evolution of its vestibular apparatuses.

The Hair Cell α9α10 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: Odd Cousin in an Old Family

The functional consequences of sequence divergence and conservation are discussed, with special emphasis on the hair cell α9α10 receptor, a seemingly distant cousin of neuronal and muscle nicotinic receptors.

Hearing without a tympanic ear.

A mechanism for sound pressure detection and directional hearing in 'earless' atympanate vertebrates that may be generalizable to all tetrapods, including the earliest terrestrial species is revealed.

Is there an exemplar taxon for modelling the evolution of early tetrapod hearing?

A study of hearing in neotenic and experimentally metamorphosed axolotls and a larval and adult tiger salamander contributes greatly to the understanding of salamanders sound perception in water and air.



Hearing in the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens): pre-adaptation to pressure hearing in tetrapods?

Investigating lungfish pressure and vibration detection and finding that the lungfish ear has good low-frequency vibration sensitivity, like recent amphibians, but poor sensitivity to air-borne sound.

Hearing of the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) suggests underwater pressure detection and rudimentary aerial hearing in early tetrapods

It is shown that lungfish detect underwater sound pressure via pressure-to-particle motion transduction by air volumes in their lungs, and this strongly suggests that even vertebrates with no middle ear adaptations for aerial hearing had rudimentary aerial hearing that may have led to the evolution of tympanic middle ears in recent tetrapods.

Gaining Ground: The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods

The Devonian World and the Roots of the Modern Family Tree: The Lobe-Fin Family and the Evolution of Terrestriality References Index are illustrated.

A uniquely specialized ear in a very early tetrapod

Ichthyostega's braincase and ear region defied interpretation, such that conventional anatomical terms seemed inapplicable, and can now be seen to form part of a highly specialized ear, probably a hearing device for use in water.

The evolution of tetrapod ears and the fossil record.

  • J. Clack
  • Geography
    Brain, behavior and evolution
  • 1997
Developments indicating the existence of a true tympanic ear in amniotes are first found in animals from the Triassic period, and a correlation with the evolution of insect sound production is suggested.

Earliest known tetrapod braincase and the evolution of the stapes and fenestra ovalis

ACANTHOSTEGA gunnari, from the Upper Devonian (Famennian) of East Greenland, is the most primitive known tetrapod, and retains many fish-like characters1–4. I report here the discovery of further

Three-dimensional limb joint mobility in the early tetrapod Ichthyostega

It is shown that Ichthyostega could not have employed typical tetrapod locomotory behaviours, such as lateral sequence walking, and was unlikely to have made some of the recently described Middle Devonian trackways.

Perspectives on Auditory Research

The author reveals how the Auditory System Normalizes the Sounds of Speech and Music for Source Size and investigates the mechanisms underlying the Pitch of Pure and Complex Tones.

Rethinking sound detection by fishes

Examining Fish in the Sea: A European Perspective on Fish Hearing Experiments

Interest in the role of sound in fishing prompted a number of European fishery scientists in the 1960s to re-examine the hearing abilities of fishes. Earlier studies had shown great variability in