Navigation Links
Despite their thick skins, alligators and crocodiles are surprisingly touchy
Date:11/7/2012

Crocodiles and alligators are notorious for their thick skin and well-armored bodies. So it comes as something of a surprise to learn that their sense of touch is one of the most acute in the animal kingdom.

The crocodilian sense of touch is concentrated in a series of small, pigmented domes that dot their skin all over their body. In alligators, the spots are concentrated around their face and jaws.

A new study, published in the Nov. 8 issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, has discovered that these spots contain a concentrated collection of touch sensors that make them even more sensitive to pressure and vibration than human fingertips.

"We didn't expect these spots to be so sensitive because the animals are so heavily armored," said Duncan Leitch, the graduate student who performed the studies under the supervision of Ken Catania, Stevenson Professor of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt.

Scientists who have studied crocodiles and alligators have taken note of these spots, which they have labeled "integumentary sensor organs" or ISOs.

Over the years they have advanced a variety of different hypotheses about their possible function. These include: source of oily secretions that keep the animals clean; detection of electric fields; detection of magnetic fields; detection of water salinity; and, detection of pressure and vibrations.

In 2002, a biologist at the University of Maryland reported that alligators in a darkened aquarium turned to face the location of single droplets of water even when their hearing was disrupted by white noise. She concluded that the sensor spots on their faces allowed them to detect the tiny ripples that the droplets produced.

"This intriguing finding inspired us to look further," Catania said. "For a variety of reasons, including the way that the spots are distributed around their body, we thought that the ISOs might be more than water ripple sensors."


'/>"/>
Contact: David F Salisbury
david.salisbury@vanderbilt.edu
615-343-6803
Vanderbilt University
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Populations survive despite many deleterious mutations
2. Secret soil cracks linger, despite surface sealing
3. City birds adapt to their new predators
4. Distinct developmental patterns identified in children with autism during their first 3 years
5. Hermit crabs socialize to evict their neighbors
6. Migratory moths profit from their journey
7. Scrub jays react to their dead
8. Older overweight children consume fewer calories than their healthy weight peers
9. SF State biologists tag zombees to track their flight
10. Ohioans love their lakes, but are concerned for their future
11. Study shows how elephants produce their deep voices
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Despite their thick skins, alligators and crocodiles are surprisingly touchy
(Date:9/30/2014)... reefs face a suite of perilous threats in ... development and climate change, fragile coral ecosystems are ... this trend, some species of corals surrounding the ... natural protector in their tropical environment: coral guard-crabs. ... History,s Smithsonian Marine Station scientist Seabird McKeon and ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... KONG , Sept. 30, 2014 Winners of ... Economist Events, Innovation Summit scheduled to take place at the JW ... the summit, the award winners will share their experiences and the ... who have made a proven innovation over the past decade, will ... the night before the summit. It will be the first ...
(Date:9/29/2014)... the exposure to tar tended to be lower for ... Similarly, exposure to nicotine tended to be lower. , ... in several countries around the world. Previous studies have ... the smoke of these cigarettes are lower than those ... in the smoke are not necessarily linked to a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Smithsonian scientists discover coral's best defender against an army of sea stars 2Hear from The Economist's 2014 Innovation Award Winners at Innovation Summit on October 10th in Hong Kong 2Hear from The Economist's 2014 Innovation Award Winners at Innovation Summit on October 10th in Hong Kong 3Hear from The Economist's 2014 Innovation Award Winners at Innovation Summit on October 10th in Hong Kong 4Hear from The Economist's 2014 Innovation Award Winners at Innovation Summit on October 10th in Hong Kong 5Hear from The Economist's 2014 Innovation Award Winners at Innovation Summit on October 10th in Hong Kong 6Hear from The Economist's 2014 Innovation Award Winners at Innovation Summit on October 10th in Hong Kong 7Slim cigarette smokers not exposed to more harmful chemicals 2
... in which the enzyme RNA polymerase constructs chains of ... underappreciated sections of both the DNA promoter region and ... E. coli and published today (June 16) in the ... University of Wisconsin-Madison. , This fundamental research about ...
... are replaced through cell division. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet ... genetic information remains intact despite this continuous exchange of ... of the scientific journal Molecular Cell. , An adult ... which die and are replaced by cell division every ...
... this week's Analytical Chemistry, scientists at Indiana University ... cells to follow the weakest of scents. Even ... sperm cells still found their mark. , A ... to a chemical gradient) can be downloaded at ...
Cached Biology News:Basic work on E. coli identifies two new keys to regulation of bacterial gene expression 2Basic work on E. coli identifies two new keys to regulation of bacterial gene expression 3A protein complex that untangles DNA 2Even when faint, ovary scent draws sperm cells 2
(Date:9/30/2014)... AMHERST, Mass. Using a bio-mimicking analog of ... of grass, an international research team led by ... has taken a major step in developing long-sought ... to electricity for use in electronic devices. ... UMass Amherst and others at Stanford University and ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments has released the DSES-1000 ... tool for measuring displacement in rubber and other ... movement distance, the DSES-1000 can measure elongations up ... 10 mm. In addition, it achieves +/- 0.2 ... within +/- 100 µm below 50-mm stroke. , ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... Proove Biosciences , the commercial and research leader ... genetic test built upon research from their published P.A.I.N. ... provide physicians with an objective way to understand theirs ... between individuals. With this new test, physicians will be ... predisposition that will affect their pain tolerance. , The ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank – www.corduse.com ... entered into an Equity and Exclusive Services Agreement with ... of patented technologies for the isolation of human cord ... is performing Phase I/II clinical trials in ... using Tianhe,s Stem Cell Educator Therapy showing that the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Blades of grass inspire advance in organic solar cells 2Blades of grass inspire advance in organic solar cells 3Shimadzu’s New Long-Travel Extensometer Increases Precision for Soft Material Testing 2Proove Biosciences is Now Offering the Proove Pain Perception Genetic Test to Help Physicians Assess Patient Pain Tolerance Levels 2Proove Biosciences is Now Offering the Proove Pain Perception Genetic Test to Help Physicians Assess Patient Pain Tolerance Levels 3CORD:USE is Pleased to Announce it has Partnered with Tianhe Stem Cell Biotechnologies, Developer of Cord Blood Stem Cell Therapy Showing Promising Results in Clinical Trials for the Treatment of Diabetes and Autoimmune Diseases 2CORD:USE is Pleased to Announce it has Partnered with Tianhe Stem Cell Biotechnologies, Developer of Cord Blood Stem Cell Therapy Showing Promising Results in Clinical Trials for the Treatment of Diabetes and Autoimmune Diseases 3CORD:USE is Pleased to Announce it has Partnered with Tianhe Stem Cell Biotechnologies, Developer of Cord Blood Stem Cell Therapy Showing Promising Results in Clinical Trials for the Treatment of Diabetes and Autoimmune Diseases 4
... increasingly important as businesses seek to protect and enhance ... as a result of the business' products and services. ... are filed, many of them for federal trademark registration. ... as a good leading indicator of economic conditions (a ...
... Google to accept XML feeds from webmasters who want to ... version of Google Sitemaps , they showed experts that ... ,Google Sitemaps is a very useful feature for large shopping ... It ensures that the search engine result listings related to ...
... people on the Internet, 30 percent of whom are on ... will be playing with e-commerce. All that power and all ... shockwaves both in trade and communications. , ,The entire continent ... is not far behind. The process of this advance is ...
Cached Biology Technology:Why file for trademark protection? 2Why file for trademark protection? 3Why file for trademark protection? 4Givin' it to Google: Using an XML Sitemap to Boost Your Site 2Givin' it to Google: Using an XML Sitemap to Boost Your Site 3Huge cyber-tsunami developing in Asia 2Huge cyber-tsunami developing in Asia 3
... workstation offers precise 96 and 384-well transfers ... 100ul and 200ul disposable tips, the 96 ... and precision across a volume range from ... two positions that enable indexing into 384 ...
... Rabbit Tissue Arrays contain 60 rabbit tissue samples ... contains 4 unstained slides and 1 hematoxylin and ... slide contains 15 different tissues from 4 rabbit ... per slide. Each tissue sample (or core) is ...
A univariate (peak height or area) quantitative multi-component analysis package....
... The new, upgraded micro 10 represents ... that brings many of the benefits of ... of the small benchtop dispenser. Dispensing accurate ... well, the micro 10 has unique advantages ...
Biology Products: