About this Research Topic
Ultimately, the survival of any aquatic organism is based on the successful interplay between a particular individual and its local or global environment. An array of complex sensory systems have evolved to allow animals to monitor and process environmental stimuli, mediated by a myriad of sensory receptors to detect predators, find food and potential mates, enable social communication, navigate and orient themselves within the water column and even to sense the toxicity of the surrounding environment.
Many sensory systems are more commonly known than others, but all are critical for survival. These include those senses typically described by Aristotle around 300-400 BC, such as sight (vision), hearing (audition), touch (somatosensation), smell (olfaction) and taste (gustation). However, many years of scientific endeavour have shown that these five senses represent only a fraction of the sensory modalities now known throughout the animal kingdom. These include the ability for vestibular control (equilibrioception), the sensation of temperature (thermoreception), postural awareness (proprioception), the monitoring of pain (nociception), the use of sonar (echolocation), and the detection of weak electric (electroreception) and magnetic (magnetoception) fields.
The aim of this Research Topic is to provide an update on the breadth and depth of research currently in progress to improve our understanding of the diversity of sensory systems in aquatic environments. In particular, this Research Topic will focus on the diversity of species that inhabit riverine, estuarine and oceanic waters. These include agnathans (lampreys and hagfishes), cartilaginous fishes (chimaeras, sharks, rays and skates), bony fishes, lobe-finned fishes, as well as other aquatic or semi-aquatic vertebrates such as amphibians, turtles, sea snakes and marine mammals. Research papers that present new data or reviewed work on novel sensory systems within an evolutionary context, from molecular to behavioral levels, are welcomed.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.