Navigation Links
Scientists discover key to Christmas Island's red crab migration
Date:8/27/2010

One of the most spectacular migrations on Earth is that of the Christmas Island red crab (Gecarcoidea natalis). Acknowledged as one of the wonders of the natural world, every year millions of the crabs simultaneously embark on a five-kilometre breeding migration. Now, scientists have discovered the key to their remarkable athletic feat.

A three-year project conducted by a team led by the late Professor Steve Morris from the University of Bristol's School of Biological Sciences in collaboration with Professor Simon Webster from Bangor University, has discovered that hormonal changes play a significant role in enabling the crabs to make their journey.

Lucy Turner, a researcher at the University of Bristol, said: "During the wet season on the island, in November or December, and prompted by the arrival of the monsoon rains, millions of the crabs undertake an arduous breeding migration from their home on the high rainforest plateau to the ocean to reproduce. This is a journey of several kilometres - a long way when you are a relatively small land crab (less than 20cm long).

"Scientists have long been puzzled by what mechanisms enable the necessary changes to take place in the crabs' physiology to allow this journey to take place, and how they make such a dramatic switch from hypoactivity to hyperactivity."

The results of this project have proven that it is a Crustacean Hyperglycaemic Hormone (CHH) that enables the crabs to make the most efficient use of their stored energy in the muscles (glycogen) and its conversion to glucose to fuel the migration.

Professor Webster, an endocrinologist at Bangor University, added: "Their migration is extremely energetically demanding, since the crabs must walk several kilometres over a few days. During the non-migratory period, the crabs are relatively inactive and stay in their burrows on the floor of the rain forest, only emerging for a brief period at dawn, to feed. The behaviour change reflects a fundamental change in the metabolic status of the animal.

"Surprisingly, we found that hyperglycaemic hormone levels were lower in actively migrating crabs than those that were inactive during the dry season. However, studying the crabs running and walking after giving them glucose resolved the puzzle. During the dry season, forced activity resulted in a tremendous release of hormone, within two minutes, irrespective of whether glucose had been administered. However, in the wet season, the glucose completely prevented the release of the exercise-dependent hormone, showing that they were controlled by a negative feedback loop.

"Glucose levels were clearly regulating hormone release at this time. This made sense since it ensures that during migration, glucose is only released from glycogen stores when glucose levels are low, using the crabs' precious reserves of glycogen, to ensure that they can complete the migration."


'/>"/>

Contact: Hannah Johnson
hannah.johnson@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-928-8896
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists find link in humans between nerve cell production, memory
2. Scientists Dismayed by Stem Cell Research Ruling
3. Scientists closer to finding what causes the birth of a fat cell
4. Scientists map epigenetic changes during blood cell differentiation
5. Scientists receive nearly $11 million to develop radiation countermeasures
6. Chemical system in brain behaves differently in cocaine addicts, UT Southwestern scientists find
7. Scientists Unravel Secrets of Sound Sleep
8. Scientists develop the first model for investigating the origins of testicular cancer in humans
9. Scientists develop designer protein, opening new door in cancer research
10. Scientists unravel human-ecosystem interactions
11. UCSD scientists find gas pedal -- and brake -- for uncontrolled cell growth
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scientists discover key to Christmas Island's red crab migration
(Date:3/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... Alert Sentry ... of MPERS (Mobile Personal Emergency Response Systems), the iSAFE and the iSAFE Plus. These ... market. The first of their kind, the iSAFE and iSAFE Plus offer direct GPS ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... WHO: , Dr. Paul Thomas; Dr. Brian Hooker; ... doctors and PhD scientists will speak to the press on behalf of over 200 ... an independent vaccine safety commission. , WHERE: , Zenger Room, National Press Club, ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... ... The Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) is pleased to announce ... director. Mr. Still was selected through a careful months-long search by the RBMA Board ... to our members, has been a part of building the RBMA since 1992,” said ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Award-winning medical group Allied Anesthesia today announced ... chair for Orange County health care system CalOptima Friday. CalOptima announced its election ... Mark Refowitz’s term, which runs through June 30 of this year, until another ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... Lithuania (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... technologies, today announced the release of two biometric time and attendance tracking products: ... Attendance 4.0 software. NCheck Cloud Bio Attendance uses biometric face recognition to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... Columbia , March 27, 2017 LightIntegra ... has appointed William "Bill" Dubiel as President and Chief ... also elected to the Board of Directors of LightIntegra. ... the Executive Chairman of LightIntegra. "This ... next President and Chief Executive Officer. We,ve selected a ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 27, 2017 To mark the end of Save ... a leader in digital imaging solutions, will showcase Canon eye ... at New York,s Jacob Javits Center ... Month, sponsored by the American Optometric Association, is observed annually ... receiving comprehensive eye exams. In recognition of this observance, Canon ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 27, 2017  A new survey from ... Medicare,s Competitive Bidding Program (CBP) significantly reduced beneficiary choice ... lack of choice forces beneficiaries to switch to unfamiliar ... consequences. AADE,s survey is the latest ... others pointing out the inherent problems with the CBP. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: