Navigation Links
Sea hares outsmart peckish lobsters with sticky opaline
Date:3/28/2013

Sea hares are not the favourite food choice of many marine inhabitants, and it's easy to see why when you find out about the chemical weapons they employ when provoked namely, two unpalatable secretions, ink and opaline, which they squirt at unsuspecting peckish predators. However, while much is known about the consequences of purple ink secretion, how the whitish and viscous opaline outsmarts a potential predator remains unknown. Charles Derby from Georgia State University, USA, wondered whether opaline could decrease the activity of a predator's sensory system. Along with his colleagues Tiffany Love-Chezem and Juan Aggio, he set out to test the effect of opaline on spiny lobsters, which occasionally try to snack on sea hares. The investigating trio find that it is opaline's sticky nature, rather than the chemicals present in the opaline, that is responsible for plugging their sense of smell and published their results in The Journal of Experimental Biology at http://jeb.biologists.org.

To begin, they extracted the water-soluble fraction of opaline, and although this lacks the amino acids and other chemical attractants that make up opaline, it is nonetheless just as sticky and possesses the physical properties of opaline. The team then painted this sticky, water-soluble fraction onto the tips of the lobsters' antennules, which act as the lobster's 'nose' and are important for motivation and ability to feed upon smelling a delicious treat. The trio then presented them with tasty smelling 'shrimp juice' and measured electrical activity in both chemosensory and motor neurons. Unlike lobsters with clean, gunk-free antennules, the shrimp juice failed to whet the appetite of opaline-treated lobsters, with the response of chemosensory and motor neurons being significantly reduced.

The team next wondered whether the amino acids present in opaline could also dampen neuronal activity. Mixing together the five most prominent amino acids found in opaline, they again painted the antennules and tempted the lobsters with the scent of shrimp juice. This time, however, the neurons fired robustly in reaction to the delicious shrimpy aroma. When the amino acids were mixed with the sticky substance carboxymethylcellulose, the neuron reactions were again inhibited. Furthermore, carboxymethylcellulose alone also stopped neurons firing. So, it seems that stickiness is the key to blocking neurons and allowing the sea hare to escape as the lobster preens and cleans itself of the gungy opaline.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nicola Stead
nicola.stead@biologists.com
44-012-234-25525
The Company of Biologists
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UCSB researchers to examine the effects of year-old NOAA West Coast Catch Shares program
2. University spin-out company shares in £7.9 million marine energy funding boost
3. Catching up with catch shares
4. New nanoglue is thin and supersticky
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in ... media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec ... provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming ... NAB show at the Las Vegas Convention ... Click ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... According to a new market research report "Consumer ... Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region - ... to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 Billion ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 No two people are ... the New York University Tandon School of Engineering ... found that partial similarities between prints are common ... mobile phones and other electronic devices can be ... vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... , ... Vortex Biosciences , provider of circulating tumor cell (CTC) capture ... using Vortex microfluidic technology ” in Nature Precision Oncology on May 8th. The ... and Dr. Matthew Rettig at the University of California, Los Angeles. The publication describes ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Philadelphia, PA. (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 ... ... Clinical Works as Vice President of Clinical Operations. She brings years ... Pharmaceuticals, and Yaupon Therapeutics. From her professional foundation as a licensed occupational therapist, ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... ... Cambridge Semantics , the leading provider of Big Data management and analytics ... in Boston May 23-25 with a featured speaker and solution demos of its ... also a finalist for the Best of Show award. , James LaPointe, Managing Director ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... Stratevi, a boutique firm that partners with healthcare ... has opened an office in downtown Boston at 745 Atlantic Ave. , “We ... to generate evidence on the value they provide, not just to patients, but also ...
Breaking Biology Technology: