Blind cave-dwelling fish also hard of hearing | Science News

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Blind cave-dwelling fish also hard of hearing

Sound detection worse in animals living in the dark than in their surface-living cousins

By
4:48pm, March 27, 2013

Blind fish that spend their lives in dark, underwater caves have lost a huge chunk of their ability to hear, scientists report in the March 27 Biology Letters. Two of the fish species studied could not hear high-pitched sounds.

“I was really surprised,” says study coauthor Daphne Soares of the University of Maryland, College Park. “I expected them to hear much better than the surface fishes.”

Cave-dwelling fish can lose their vision and even their eyes over many generations. And without light, eyesight can lose its importance in fish survival. Only two previous studies have explored what happens to hearing after fish lose their vision; both found no differences in

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