DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) convict cichlid mouth neuromasts and teeth (Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum). Upper jaw and lip region of the cichlid. Round neuromasts are present on the outside and inner mouth (lip) region. Neuromasts are surrounded by skin epidermal cells. The neuromast is a sensory organ (mechanosensory) that consists of a cluster of sensory hair cells that are connected to nerve cells. Neuromasts are part of the lateral line and other head areas of most fish. They 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. Teeth are seen emerging from the inside the jaw line. Note that newly emerging teeth are not sharp whereas older adult teeth are sharply pointed. All cichlids have widely spaced, unicuspid, first-generation teeth. Magnification: x140 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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