Elephant-nosed fish do a little dance to help them “see” in 3D

Electrical pulses give some fish the ability to identify objects or prey, and a bit of shimmy helps them take multiple snapshots that add depth to their underwater world.


December 12, 2022

FJ678N Peter's worm-jawed mormyridae, Peter's elephant nose, elephant nose fish, long nose elephant fish (Gnathonemus petersii, Gnathonemus brevicaudatus, Mormyrus petersii), swimming

Peters’ elephant-nosed fish produce electric fields that help them navigate the world

blickwinkel / Alamy Stock Photo

Elephant nosed fish need to twist, walk, and shimmy to accurately “see” the shapes of objects when interpreting oscillations in electric fields.

Peters’ Elephant Nose Fish (Gnathonemus petersiilisten)) is native to rivers in western and central Africa. It and its close relatives are “weakly electric” fish that can produce a small electric shock too weak to stun prey. But sensors in their skin can use the resulting electric field around their body to detect prey and underwater obstacles. …

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