Molecular basis of tactile specialization in the duck bill

  title={Molecular basis of tactile specialization in the duck bill},
  author={Eve R. Schneider and Evan O Anderson and Marco Mastrotto and Jon D. Matson and Vincent P. Schulz and Patrick G. Gallagher and Robert H LaMotte and Elena O. Gracheva and Sviatoslav N. Bagriantsev},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  pages={13036 - 13041}
Significance Tactile-specialist birds of the Anatidae family possess unique mechanosensory abilities with which they efficiently select edible matter in muddy water without visual or olfactory cues. Mechanical stimuli are transmitted by trigeminal mechanoreceptors innervating the bill, a highly specialized tactile organ. We show mechanosensory specialization in ducks involves the formation of functional rapidly adapting mechanoreceptors prior to hatching. Unlike in visually foraging chicken… 

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