Orientation by Taste in Fish of the Genus Ictalurus

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Science  10 Mar 1967:
Vol. 155, Issue 3767, pp. 1276-1278
DOI: 10.1126/science.155.3767.1276


Fish of the genus Ictalurus can find distant chemical clues by means of taste alone, and they exhibit true gradient searching in the absence of a current. Neither unilateral nor bilateral deprivation of the sense of smell impaired their searching ability, but unilateral deprivation of taste receptors which are spread over body and barbels of the animals caused pro nounced circling toward the intact side. The relation of swimming paths of the fish to the chemical in the water suggested that comparisons of concentrations were made in time and space.