The Mechanosensory Lateral Line
Fish and amphibians use a collection of mechanoreceptors scattered all over their body surface to sense the hydrodynamic environment around them. These receptors, called neuromasts, are the building blocks of the flow-sensing lateral line (LL) system. By quantifying the behavioral similarities and differences between LL morphologies among aquatic animals and correlating them to their flow-triggered behavioral responses, we aim to address a series of questions about LL morphology (do divergent LL patterns lead to different responses to water flow?), mechanosensation (are differences in neuromast number correlated with flow sensitivity?) and evolution (do fish and amphibians use similar flow navigational cues?).