The paratympanic organ: a barometer and altimeter in the middle ear of birds?
Article first published online: 30 JUN 2011
Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company
Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution
Volume 316B, Issue 6, pages 402–408, 15 September 2011
How to Cite
von Bartheld, C. S. and Giannessi, F. (2011), The paratympanic organ: a barometer and altimeter in the middle ear of birds?. J. Exp. Zool., 316B: 402–408. doi: 10.1002/jez.b.21422
- Issue published online: 5 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 30 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 MAY 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 18 MAY 2011
- Manuscript Received: 21 FEB 2011
- Max Kade Fellowship, Ministry of University and Research, Italy
- National Institutes of Health (NIH). Grant Numbers: NS08578, DC00019
A century has passed since the discovery of the paratympanic organ (PTO), a mechanoreceptive sense organ in the middle ear of birds and other tetrapods. This luminal organ contains a sensory epithelium with typical mechanosensory hair cells and may function as a barometer and altimeter. The organ is arguably the most neglected sense organ in living tetrapods. The PTO is believed to be homologous to a lateral line sense organ, the spiracular sense organ of nonteleostean fishes. Our review summarizes the current state of knowledge of the PTO and draws attention to the astounding lack of information about the unique and largely unexplored sensory modality of barometric perception. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 316:402–408, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.