Navigation Links
Large caps this spring's must-have for water fleas
Date:5/3/2010

It remains one of the unresolved mysteries of the animal world: why do females change the way they look each season while males look the same all year round? Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, who have been studying fashion trends for water fleas have found some of the answers.

What can millimetre-long water fleas from twenty small lakes in the Munkedal district of south-west Sweden have to say about animals' winter and summer fashions? A lot, as it happens. The water flea is, in fact, one of the world's trendiest crustaceans.

New accessories

Water fleas have the ability to change their appearance to suit their surroundings and the season. This may involve, for example, donning new accessories: water fleas can grow long antennae, a larger back hump or a new "cap" of varying sizes. Researchers at the Department of Zoology at the University of Gothenburg who studied water fleas in the rekilslven river basin believe these accessories to be the water fleas' way of reducing the risk of being caught and eaten.

Different trends

What's remarkable is that water fleas in different lakes follow different trends. For example, high up in the rekilslven water system, the females have been wearing small round caps teamed with fairly large bodies, while their counterparts further down in the system have gone the other way - larger caps but smaller bodies.

Fashion for protection

Hans Lord, researcher at the Department of Zoology, offers an explanation in his thesis. A large cap protects the water fleas from small invertebrate predators, as it makes it harder for these predators to catch and hang on to them. Smaller bodies, in turn, are the water fleas' way of adapting to predatory fish, which rely on their sight to locate their prey. The combination of a small body and a large cap is a compromise: the smaller body reduces the risk of being spotted by a fish, while the large cap (which is transparent and therefore invisible to the fish) offers protection from invertebrate predators.

Males not trendy

The males, on the other hand, don't seem at all bothered by current trends.

This may be to do with reproduction: given that the females carry the offspring, a dead female is a greater loss than a dead male. It is therefore more worthwhile for the females to invest in a look that will protect them against predators. Another explanation is that the males are driven by their need to find females to mate with as quickly as possible - and that swimming up to a female whilst wearing a large cap and long antennae requires too much energy, takes too long and entails a risk that other males will get there first.

Extravagant for summer

This also explains why the fashions are more extravagant in the summer than the winter. "When the water's cold, it's more difficult to move through, which makes it extra-hard to swim with accessories," says Lord, researcher at the Department of Zoology and expert in fashion trends for water fleas. "This is one of the explanations for why we find water fleas with extreme looks during the summer only, when the water is warm, but not during the rest of the year. Another explanation is that the summer brings more invertebrate predators."


'/>"/>

Contact: Hans Lord
hans.lord@zool.gu.se
46-031-174-940
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Largest Internet Supplier of Eternity Rings Pledges 10% of their Profits to the National Breast Cancer Foundation
2. Worlds largest polar science conference to take place in Oslo
3. CA Dental Hygienists' Association to Provide Care to Thousands of Uninsured at Southland's Largest Free Public Health Clinic
4. Searching for Breast Augmentation Surgeons? Breast Implants USA Revamp Aims to Set Standard for Online Experience for Breast Enlargement Patients
5. M. D. Anderson receives 4.5 million grant, largest ever for study of yoga and cancer
6. Endoscopic resection of a large ileal lipoma
7. Recent Studies Show MAstertuck℠ Technique Removes Large Amounts of Body Fat without Tummy Tuck Surgery
8. Indianapolis Cosmetic Surgeon One of Few in Indiana Offering Patients Large Volume Liposuction, Brazilian Butt Lift
9. Organic Wholesale Club Brings Wholesale Club Concept to Large Organic and Natural E-commerce Site
10. Misinformation about antibiotics can travel to large audience via Twitter: study
11. Misinformation About Antibiotics Can Travel to Large Audience Via Twitter: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Large caps this spring's must-have for water fleas
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their media with ... X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Color ... users can now reveal the media of their split screens with growing colorful ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. Brooklyn-based company, ... for the millions of people who require these medical transport services annually. ... the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an industry-changing app that ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a holistic treatment ... Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is located. This ... of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its residents often ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss fitness plan that ... the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, , All ... They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn ... to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization ... selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that it ... (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for people ... Roche is the first IVD company in the U.S ... assessment and management. PCT is a sepsis-specific ... blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology ... outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 ... 30, 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A ... product of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will ... 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LONDON , June 23, 2016 ... environments  Oticon , industry leaders in ... the launch of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s ... world of possibilities for IoT devices.      ... Opn, Oticon introduces a number of ,world firsts,: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: