- Electric organ
The electric organ is a muscular organ common to all
electric fishused for the purposes of creating an electric field; a behavior used for navigation, communication or even incapacitation of prey.
Electrocytes, electroplaques or electroplaxes are cells used by rays,
electric eels and other electric fishfor electrogenesisand electroreception. They are flat disk-like cells that are positiveley charged on one side and negatively charged on the other. Electric eels have several thousand of these cells stacked, each producing 0.15V. The cells function by pumping positive sodiumand potassium ionsout of the cell via transport proteins powered by adenosine triphosphate. Postsynaptically, electrocytes work much like muscle cells. They have nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These cells are used in research because of their resemblance to nerve-muscle junctions.
To discharge the electrocytes at the correct time, the electric eel uses its pacemaker nucleus, a nucleus of pacemaker neurons. When an electric eel spots its prey, the pacemaker
neuronsfire and acetylcholineis subsequently released from electromotor neurons to the electrocytes, resulting in an electric organ discharge.
In the electric
Torpedo Ray, electroplaxes are found near the pectoral muscles and the gills. In most other fishes, they are found near the tail. In one fish genus, the electric catfish"Malapterurus", the electric organs are not made of individual electroplaxes, but are built up from charges of the epithelium, specifically the skin.
Electric Organ Discharge
Electric organ discharge (EOD) is the electric discharge generated by the organs of animals including electric fish. In some cases the electric discharge is strong and is used for protection from predators; in other cases it is weak and it is used for navigation and communication.
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