Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Biology (B.S.B.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Christine Bedore


Although the electrosensory system has been studied in many elasmobranch species, their behavioral responses to electric fields varies among species. Differences in behavioral responses are often attributed to differences in ecology, which is related to the morphology of their electrosensory systems. Organisms have varying pore densities and locations, depending on how they use their electrosensory system for finding food and hiding from predators. Learning about their behavioral response can help us understand the evolutionary and ecological adaptations of a particular species that help them to survive. Little is known about sensory adaptations of coral catsharks, Atelomycterus marmoratus, to their environment. Coral catsharks are small benthic sharks found in coral reefs that eat shrimp and other small invertebrates. This study determined the pore location and density on coral catsharks, as well as their behavioral response to prey-simulating electrical signals. Pore number and density were found to be greater on the dorsal side, potentially because they are used for functions other than prey detection such as predator avoidance. Pore density was found to be low, which may have led to a lower resolution and a low accuracy of bites.