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Hearing Capabilities of the Atlantic Mudskipper (Periopthalmus barbarus) Across Mutiple Media.




Todd, Davis

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences


An animal’s sensory detection mechanisms are often shaped by the environment in which that animals lies. Amphibious fishes provide a rare opportunity to study how hearing has adapted to match the extremely unique lifestyle of a fish that spends much of its time out of the water. This study compared the hearing capabilities of the amphibious Atlantic mudskipper (Periopthalmus barbarus) with that of the fully aquatic banded sculpin (Cottus carolinae). Auditory brainstem response testing was performed on individuals of the two species in three different setting: air, substrate, and substrate underwater. Our study found that no P. barbarus nor C. carolinae individuals were able to detect airborne auditory stimuli. P. barbarus and C. cottus individuals were unable to detect substrate-borne vibration at frequencies of 800Hz and 1600Hz. Evoked potentials for P. barbarus and C. carolinae were nearly identical. P. barbarus is unable to hear airborne stimuli and has a similar audiogram to a fully aquatic fish, C. carolinae, which suggests that its auditory capabilities have not experienced adaptations as a result of their amphibious lifestyle.