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Finding Nemo with electricity

Researchers have discovered an electrifying love story in the turbid rivers of the lower Congo rapids. Elephant-nosed electric fish find and recognize their mates through crackling communications, according a study published today (Nov. 25) in__ linkurl:Biology Letters.;http://publishing.royalsociety.org/index.cfm?page=1566 Campylomormyrus__ elephant-nosed fish have a specialized muscular organ that emits millivolt-strength electric signals -- too weak for humans to much notice but powerful eno

Elie Dolgin
Researchers have discovered an electrifying love story in the turbid rivers of the lower Congo rapids. Elephant-nosed electric fish find and recognize their mates through crackling communications, according a study published today (Nov. 25) in__ linkurl:Biology Letters.;http://publishing.royalsociety.org/index.cfm?page=1566 Campylomormyrus__ elephant-nosed fish have a specialized muscular organ that emits millivolt-strength electric signals -- too weak for humans to much notice but powerful enough to help the fish navigate and communicate. In 2006, linkurl:Philine Feulner,;http://www.jon-slate.staff.shef.ac.uk/html/philine_feulner.html an evolutionary biologist at the University of Sheffield, UK, and her colleagues linkurl:showed;http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WNH-4HG6NX7-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=732ff4a2b78551d05a013e94051b33fd that the electric discharges were species-specific, and could be used to tease apart cryptic __Campylomormyrus__ species. Now, her team has found that females linkurl:choose their mates;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/24522/ based on the electric serenades, too.

A __Campylomormyrus compressirostris__ male

"We knew they communicated [through electric discharges]," linkurl:Phillip Stoddard,;http://www.fiu.edu/~stoddard/ a zoologist at Florida International University in Miami, who was not involved in the study, told __The Scientist__. "The missing...

The female elephant-nosed fish (center) chooses between two potential electrifying lovers

Photo credit: Frank Kirschbaum. Video courtesy of Philine Feulner.

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