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Escape responses by jet propulsion in scallops 1

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The impressive swimming escape response of scallops uses a simple locomotor system that facilitates analysis of the functional relationships between its primary components. One large adductor muscle, two valves, the muscular mantle, and the rubbery hinge ligament are the basic elements allowing swimming by jet propulsion. Although these basic functional elements are shared among scallop species, the exact nature of the escape response varies considerably within and among species. Valve shape and density have opposing influences upon the capacity for swimming and the ease of attack by predators once captured. Patterns of muscle use can partly overcome the constraints imposed by shell characteristics. The depletion of muscle reserves during gametogenesis leads to a trade-off between escape response performance and reproductive investment. However, changes in muscle energetic status influence repeat performance more than initial escape performance. Escape response performance is influenced by habitat temperature and mariculture techniques. During scallop ontogeny, changes in susceptibility to predation and in reproductive investment may influence escape response capacities. These ontogenetic patterns are likely to vary with the longevity and maximal size of each species. Although the basic elements allowing swimming by jet propulsion are common to scallops, their exact use varies considerably among species.

Keywords: Pectinidae; adductor muscle; escape response capacity; locomotion; muscle adducteur; nage; pétoncles; réponses de fuite; scallop; swimming

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2013

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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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