My coauthors Daphne Soares, Dennis Higgs and I have a chapter titled “Hearing in cavefishes” in the recently published book “Fish Hearing and Bioacoustics – An Anthology in Honor of Arthur N. Popper and Richard R. Fay.” The volume is edited by Joe Sisneros and honors the scientific contributions of Art Popper and Richard Fay.
The full citation and abstract of the chapter are included below. The chapter and book can be downloaded from the Springer website here.
Soares D, Niemiller ML, & Higgs DM. Hearing in cavefishes. Pp. 187–195 in: Fish Hearing and Bioacoustics – An Anthology in Honor of Arthur N. Popper and Richard R. Fay (Sisneros JA, ed). Springer.
Caves and associated subterranean habitats represent some of the harshest environments on Earth, yet many organisms, including fishes, have colonized and thrive in these habitats despite the complete absence of light, and other abiotic and biotic constraints. Over 170 species of fishes are considered obligate subterranean inhabitants (stygobionts) that exhibit some degree of troglomorphy, including degeneration of eyes and reduction in pigmentation. To compensate for lack of vision, many species have evolved constructive changes to non-visual sensory modalities. In this chapter we review hearing in cavefishes, with particular emphasize on our own studies on amblyopsid cavefishes. Hearing in cavefishes has not been well studied to date, as hearing ability has only been examined in four species. Two species show no differences in hearing ability relative to their surface relatives, while the other two species (family Amblyopsidae) exhibit regression in the form of reduced hearing range and reduction in hair cell densities on sensory epithelia. In addition to reviewing our current knowledge on cavefish hearing, we offer suggestions for future avenues of research on cavefish hearing and discuss the influence of Popper and Fay on the field of cavefish bioacoustics.