DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) Goby fish neuromast (Awaous guamensis). Neuromasts are part of the lateral line and other head areas of most fish. Neuromasts are found either on the skin surface or in pit organs. They are used to detect motion or vibrations in the water, especially hydrodynamic water flow across the fish surface. A neuromast is a sensory organ (mechanosensory) that consists of a cluster of sensory hair cells. The sensory cells of the neuromast have hair-like structures called stereocilia (short, non-motile cilia) and a kinocilia (long, motile cilia) that are connected to nerve cells. The hair cells are surrounded by supporting cells that secrete a gelatinous cupula. Magnification: x2,000 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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