URI grad student makes discovery about dragonfish

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – University of Rhode Island graduate student in marine biology, Ashley Marranzino, made a discovery about the sensory system of a group of deep sea fishes called dragonfishes.

Working with Biological Sciences Professor Jacqueline Webb, Marranzino researched the mechanosensory lateral line system of these dragonfishes, which detects water flows and low frequency vibrations in the water using tiny organs called neuromasts.

“I was interested in seeing how fishes in the deep sea are adapted to the lower light conditions of their environment,” said Marranzino, a Denver native who earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Regis University, in a statement. “If there is so little light, you would expect that the fish aren’t using much of their vision to guide their behaviors. Instead, maybe their lateral line system has evolved to become more sensitive.”

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