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Dolphin hearing system component found in insects
Date:12/13/2012

een compartments of the ear, and perhaps to help amplify quiet sounds.

Dr Kate Lomas from the University of Auckland, said: "In the weta, as in other members of the Ensiferan group which includes katydids and crickets, sound is detected by ear drums on the front legs."

Using new tissue analysis and three-dimensional imaging techniques the scientists also discovered a tiny organ in the insects' ears, which they named the olivarius after Dr Lomas' son Ollie. The organ appears to be responsible for producing the all-important lipid.

It may have been overlooked in previous studies because standard analytical techniques, which are much harsher, would have damaged or destroyed the fragile tissue.

Dr Lomas added: "The ear is surprisingly delicate so we had to modify how we looked at its structure and in doing so we discovered this tiny organ."

The researchers carried out their work with the Auckland tree weta. They believe that the same method of hearing is likely to be used by other members of its biologic class, including crickets and katydids, which are famous for the sounds they produce.


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Contact: John Beaton
john.beaton@strath.ac.uk
44-141-548-2924
University of Strathclyde
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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