No high notes for these blind fish

Cave dwellers that can't see are also partially deaf

By Stephen Ornes, 10:00 AM April 5, 2013

This southern cavefish is blind and, new research suggests, partially deaf. But don’t feel sorry for the little fish; it may just be adapting to a dark and noisy habitat. Credit: Matthew Niemiller

Fish that live in dark caves often can't see. Some don't even have eyes. Now scientists report that some of these fish don’t hear so well either. The researchers have discovered two species of blind, cave-dwelling fish that are deaf to high-pitched sounds.

“I was really surprised,” Daphne Soares, told Science News.  “I expected them to hear much better than the surface fishes.” Soares, a biologist at the University of Maryland in College Park, compares the brain functions of closely relat...

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