Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Nathan Bird


Weberian apparatus; Fishes--Development;


The Weberian apparatus is a novel hearing adaptation of otophysan fishes (including such fishes as minnows, loaches, catfishes, characids, and South American electric eels) that allows for dramatically increased hearing capability and sensitivity. The strong functional advantage otophysans gain via the Weberian apparatus has likely created a new modular unit (set of structures that develop, evolve, and function in concert). To determine if components of the Weberian apparatus are integrated into a new developmental module, the timing and sequence of development was collected for specific anatomical structures related to the Weberian apparatus to determine developmental sequence. Patterns of development within species revealed a shift in developmental timing for elements of the Weberian apparatus in zebrafish, relative to the sequence position of the homologous structures in a cichlid, which does not have a Weberian apparatus. These results support a hypothesis for the elements of the Weberian apparatus representing a unique developmental module.

Year of Submission



Department of Biology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (21 pages)



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