Zebrafish Anatomical Dictionary

Structure description: ear

by Tanya Whitfield

Name: ear

Abbreviation: ov, ot, otc, oto

Synonyms: otic placode, otic vesicle, otic capsule, otocyst, inner ear


4 day ear

Staging series live whole-mounts

Staging series sections

5 day ear sections

3D movie of 5 day ear

Z-section movie of 5 day ear

Description: : The auditory (hearing) and vestibular (balance) organ of the fish, equivalent to the inner ear of amniotes (fish do not have an outer or middle ear). Develops from a cranial ectodermal thickening, the otic placode, which arises on either side of the head midway between the eye and the first somite. This cavitates to form a simple vesicle, from which all structures of the inner ear (semicircular canals, sensory patches and neurons of the statoacoustic (VIIIth) ganglion) are thought to arise. Five sensory patches develop in the embryonic ear: three cristae (each associated with a semicircular canal) and two maculae (each associated with an otolith). Two further sensory patches, and one additional otolith, are present in the adult ear. Neuroblasts delaminate from the epithelium of the ventral floor of the otic vesicle to form the statoacoustic (VIIIth) ganglion between 22 and 42h. Epithelial projections forming the semicircular canal system protrude into the vesicle and fuse between 44 and 72h. A dorsolateral septum, dividing the anterior and posterior canals, grows into the ear during the same period.



Parents (forms from): cranial placodal ectoderm (otic placode)


Group (member of):



Comments: Gene expression database: http://www.ihr.mrc.ac.uk/hereditary/genetable/index.shtml

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