The Royal Society

Supplementary material from "Coupled membranes: A mechanism of frequency filtering and transmission in the field cricket ear evidenced by micro-computed tomography, laser Doppler vibrometry, and finite element analysis"

Posted on 2024-04-02 - 04:33
Many animals employ a second frequency filter beyond the initial filtering of the eardrum (or tympanal membrane). In the field cricket ear, both the filtering mechanism and the transmission path from the posterior tympanal membrane (PTM) have remained unclear. Mismatch between PTM vibrations and sensilla tuning has prompted speculations of a second filter. PTM coupling to the tracheal branches is suggested to support a transmission pathway. Here, we present three independent lines of evidence converging on the same conclusion: the existence of a series of linked membranes with distinct resonant frequencies serving both filtering and transmission functions. Micro-computed tomography (µ-CT) highlighted the 'dividing membrane (DivM)’, separating the tracheal branches and connected to the PTM via the dorsal membrane of the posterior tracheal branch (DM-PTB). Thickness analysis showed the DivM to share significant thinness similarity with the PTM. Laser Doppler vibrometry indicated the first of two PTM vibrational peaks, at 6 and 14 kHz, originates not from the PTM but from the coupled DM-PTB. This result was corroborated by µ-CT-based finite element analysis. These findings clarify further the biophysical source of neuroethological pathways in what is an important model of behavioural neuroscience. Tuned micro-scale coupled membranes may also hold biomimetic relevance.


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