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Tactile reception and behavior of fish

Kasumyan, A. O.
Journal of ichthyology 2011 v.51 no.11 pp. 1035-1103
fins, fish, foods, innervation, nerve endings, ontogeny, receptors, searching behavior, teeth, texture, touch (sensation)
Available fragmentary data on tactile sensie of fish are summed up for the first time. Data are presented on morphology and distribution of tactile receptors (free nerve endings, Merkel cells, Rohon-Beard cells, etc.) and on their innervation. Main tactile organs of fish are considered—barbels and various other cutaneous outgrowths, free rays of fins, rostrum, breeding tubercles, dermal teeth. Information is presented on functional parameters of tactile reception and its significance in orientation and in manifestation by fish of reproductive, defensive, social, exploratory, and food searching behavior. An important role is shown of the intraoral tactile reception in estimation by fish of texture and attractiveness of food objects. Time of formation of tactile sensitivity in fish ontogenesis is indicated and dynamics of its formation is analyzed. A low level of knowledge of structure and function of the tactile system is noted. The majority of the available data are mostly facts indicating the importance of tactile sense in various life manifestations of fish but not disclosing the functional potential of the system.