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Antenna provides selective hearing: fruit fly


Fruit fly; feathery arista seen on right / Tiziano Barb.. / LicenseCC-by-nc-nd - Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

The antenna of a fruit fly is used for selective hearing thanks to its multi-part, swiveling structure.

"The fly Drosophila melanogaster has very small hearing organs each of which consists of 3 antennal segments and a feather-like arista. These parts constitute together the sound receiver. When a desired sound is heard, the arista rotates one of the antennas and penetrates a hook into the second antenna (the internal one) and stretches the auditory receptors. At such conditions the auditory receptors can function and enable hearing. Otherwise the Drosophila melanogaster hearing is prevented." (Collins 2004:170)
About the inspiring organism
Med_3269206579_8a5b400452_o Drosophila melanogaster
Drosophila melanogaster Meigen, 1830
Common name: Fruit fly

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Some organism data provided by: BDWD: BioSystematic Database of World Diptera
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Increase sensitivity of hearing for directional or intermittent use.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Communications

Collins, M. 2004. Design and nature II: comparing design in nature with science and engineering. Southampton: WIT.
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Göpfert, MC; Robert, D. 2001. Turning the key on Drosophila audition. Nature. 411(6840): 908.
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