Fish comprise more than 50% of all living vertebrates and are found in a wide range of highly diverse habitats like the deep sea, the shoreline, tide pools, tropical streams and sweetwater ponds. During evolution, the senses of fish have adapted to the physical conditions of the environment in which different species live. As a result, the senses of fish exhibit a remarkable diversity that allows different species to deal with the physical constraints imposed by their habitat. In addition, fish have evolved several `new' sensory systems that are unique to the aquatic environment.
In this book, examples of adaptation and refinement are given for six sensory systems: The visual system, The auditory system, The olfactory system, The mechanosensory lateral line system, The taste system, The electrosensory system. In each case, the environmental conditions under which a particular group of fish lives are analyzed. This is followed by a description of morphology and physiology of the sensory system and by an evaluation of its perceptional capabilities. Finally, the sensory adaptations to the particular conditions that prevail in the habitat of a species are highlighted.
The various examples from different groups of fish presented in this book demonstrate the impressive capability of fish sensory systems to effectively overcome physical problems imposed by the environment.
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