Potential for sound sensitivity in cephalopods. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Hearing is a primary sense in many marine animals and we now have a reasonable understanding of what stimuli generate clear responses, the frequency range of sensitivity, expected threshold values and mecha-nisms of sound detection for several species of marine mammals and fishes (Fay 1988; Au et al. 2000). For marine invertebrates, our knowledge of hearing capabilities is relatively poor and a definition or even certainty of sound detection is not agreed upon (Webster et al. 1992) despite their magnitude of biomass and often central role in ocean ecosystems. Cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish, octopods and nautilus) are particularly interesting subjects for inver-tebrate sound detection investigations for several reasons. Ecologically, they occupy many of the same niches as sound-sensitive fish (Budelmann 1994) and may benefit from sound perception and use for the same reasons, such as to detect predators, navigate, or locate conspecifics. Squid, for example, are often the prey of loud, echolocating marine mammals (Clarke 1996), and may therefore be expected to have evolved hearing to avoid predators. Anatomically, squid have complex statocysts that are considered to serve primarily as vestibular and acceleration detectors (Nixon and Young 2003). However, statocysts may also be analogs for fish otolithic organs, detecting acoustic stimuli (Budelmann 1992). Previous studies have debated the subject of squid hearing and recently there has been a revival of research on the subject. Here, we briefly review what is known about squid sound detection, revisit hearing definitions, discuss potential squid susceptibility to anthropogenic noise and suggest potential future research direc-tions to examine squid acoustic sensitivity.

publication date

  • 2012