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This image is part of the feature Medicine From The Sea


Caption: Oyster toadfish (Opsanus tau). This is a bottom- dwelling fish that inhabits the coastal waters of eastern North America, from Cape Cod, USA, to the Caribbean Sea. Its diverse diet includes other fish, crustaceans and molluscs, which it devours with its large mouth. It is a favourite fish of neurologists, as its wide head means that the nerves in its head are accessible and easy to study. Its balance (vestibular) system is similar to that of humans, and it is useful as a model for studying human balance disorders, such as motion sickness and Meniere's disease. Toadfish have even been sent into space to observe the effects of microgravity on their vestibular system.

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Keywords: american, animal, balance, bony fish, camouflage, camouflaged, face, head, marine, marine biology laboratory, mbl, mimic, motion sickness, nature, nerve pathways, nerves, neural, neurology, ocean, opsanus tau, oyster, pisces, rock mimicry, rocks, sea, semicircular canals, stones, toadfish, underwater, united states, usa, vestibular system, wildlife, woods hole, zoology

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