Electric and magnetic field detection in elasmobranch fishes

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Science  26 Nov 1982:
Vol. 218, Issue 4575, pp. 916-918
DOI: 10.1126/science.7134985


Sharks, skates, and rays receive electrical information about the positions of their prey, the drift of ocean currents, and their magnetic compass headings. At sea, dogfish and blue sharks were observed to execute apparent feeding responses to dipole electric fields designed to mimic prey. In training experiments, stingrays showed the ability to orient relative to uniform electric fields similar to those produced by ocean currents. Voltage gradients of only 5 nanovolts per centimeter would elicit either behavior.

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