How body size affects middle-ear structure and function and auditory sensitivity in gekkonoid lizards

Yehudah L. Werner, Lynda G. Montgomery, Shawn D. Safford, Petar G. Igic, James C. Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Gekkonoid lizards increase in body size throughout life, and the present study investigates whether changes in auditory function accompany these increases. Middle-ear structures in four groups of animals, adults and juveniles of two gekkonoid species (Eublepharis macularius and Oedura marmorata), were examined. Tympanic membrane velocity and phase were also measured in all four groups. An indication of peripheral auditory function was obtained for each group by measuring compound action potentials (CAPs) from the round window membrane. The middle-ear contribution to CAP thresholds was obtained by comparing threshold levels of the CAP response with and without an intact middle-ear system. The results from these studies indicated that significant changes occurred in middle-ear structure, tympanic membrane velocity and CAP threshold between the younger and older animals. In addition, the adults of both species exhibited better auditory function when the acoustic stimulus was delivered to the tympanic membrane than when it was delivered to the columella footplate. The findings show clearly that increased body size (or age) is accompanied by functional changes in the auditory periphery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-502
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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