Ultrastructure of the auditory regions in the inner ear of the lake whitefish

Science  04 Jun 1976:
Vol. 192, Issue 4243, pp. 1020-1023
DOI: 10.1126/science.1273585


Hair cell polarization patterns were investigated on the sensory macule of the sacculus and lagena of the lake whitefish. The saccular hair cells are divided into four groups, with all of the cells within a group having the same orientation. Saccular orientations are anterior, posterior, dorsal, and ventral with respect to the axis of the animal. Two groups, one dorsal and one ventral, are found on the lagena. The saccular orientations are significantly different from those in tetrapods. Since this organ appears to have different functions in fish and tetrapods it is likely that the orientation patterns in fish are adapted to some aspect of audition--perhaps directional localization of sound.

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