from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. the ability of an animal to detect an object by its distortion of the animal's electric field, as in the electric fishes such as the electric eel.
- n. the ability of a robot to locate an object by detecting changes in its electric field..
According to head researcher Wolf Hanke at the University of Rostock in Germany, this "electrolocation" is also important because "echolocation doesn't work at very close range."
Two groups of teleosts, the mormyriforms of Africa and the gymnotiforms of South America, have convergently evolved electric organs EOs whose weak electrical emissions function as communication signals and for electrolocation.
High amplitude signals facilitate communication and electrolocation, but are energetically costly and more detectable by those predators that can detect electrical signals.
Power of the EOD waveform is perfectly proportional to energy consumed by electrolocation, and electric signals use a significant fraction of the energy budget Fish were wild caught Sternopygus macrurus (gold-lined knife fish) from tropical South America, obtained from Segrest Farms (Gibsonton, FL, USA) and ranging in size from 20 to 30 cm.
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