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acoustico-lateralis systema complex system of receptors found in fishes and amphibians, which occurs in a line along the length of the body and in a complex pattern on the head. The receptors occur in pores or canals and are capable of detecting very small changes in pressure in the surrounding medium, such as vibrations. When the animal is moving, impulses from efferent nerve fibres to the receptors prevent the latter from responding, so that they do not react to the animal's own movement. The inner ear of vertebrates is thought to have evolved from a receptor of the lateral-line system.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005