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Neuronal control of swimming in jellyfish: a comparative story

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The swim-control systems of hydrozoan and scyphozoan medusae show distinct differences despite similarity in the mechanics of swimming in the two groups. This dichotomy was first demonstrated by G.J. Romanes at the end of the 19th century, yet his results still accurately highlight differences in the neuronal control systems in the two groups. A review of current information on swim-control systems reveals an elaboration of Romanes' dichotomy, but no significant changes to it. The dichotomy is used to suggest that cubomedusae are more closely aligned with the scyphomedusae, and to highlight areas of future research that could be used to look for common, possibly primitive, features of medusan conduction systems.

Les systèmes natatoires des méduses hydrozoaires et scyphozoaires comportent des différences importantes en dépit de la similitude des mécanismes de nage chez les deux groupes. Cette dichotomie a été observée pour la première fois à la fin du 19e siècle par G.J. Romanes dont les résultats sont toujours utilisés pour mettre en lumière les différences de contrôle neurologique chez les deux groupes. Une revue de la littérature récente sur les systèmes de contrôle de la nage indique que la dichotomie de Romanes a été précisée, mais que rien de substantiel n'y a été ajouté. Cette dichotomie laisse croire que les cuboméduses sont alignées plus étroitement avec les scyphoméduses et met en lumière de nouvelles avenues de recherche qui pourraient éventuellement révéler l'existence de caractères communs, possiblement primitifs, dans les systèmes de conduction des méduses.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2002

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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