ampullae of lorenzini

in my new book, the dark gospel, the main character has the skill of psionic projection.

lorenzini pores on snout of tiger shark (pic by albert kok)

this has set me thinking about electroreceptivity, a related function channelled (in sharks and other elasmobranchs) through the ampullae of lorenzini.

The ampullae of Lorenzini are complicated and extensive specialized skin sense organs characteristic of sharks and rays…electroreceptive units in sharks. They are jelly-filled canals found on the head of the animal which form a system of sense organs, each of which receives stimuli from the outside environment through the dermis and epidermis. Each canal ends in groups of small bulges lined by the sensory epithelium. A small bundle of afferent nerve fibers innervates each ampullae; there are no efferent fibers (Murray, 1974). The ampullae are mostly clustered into groups. Electroreceptors enable the elasmobranchs to search and locate prey and navigate through the earth’s ocean and seas. Electroreception allows these animals to sense the presence of their victims long before the victims have the chance to see their predators. This awesome advantage has made these animals into one of the most threatening predators on earth.

(faramarr samie, “electroreception in elasmobranchs”, full article here:

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  1. Well. That’s going to keep you busy for a while…

  2. Thanks for finally explaining my friend Katrina.

  3. befriending an elasmobranch is rewarding and horizon-broadening – elasmobranches have a fascinatingly jellyish concept of “closeness” – with awkward, usually fatal, complications when intimacy is attempted.

  4. Excellent. To be forewarned and all that… this is v.useful information for those of us who have, indeed, often contemplated intimacy with an elasmobranch without realising how much of la petite mort such an encounter might prove.

    Hurrah for oceanic studies!

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