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Free Content Direct observations of field swimming behavior in larvae of the colonial ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata

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Tadpole larvae of the colonial ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata in three different age classes were released in the field and observed continuously for varying periods of time. Early larvae, contrary to expectations, spent significantly more time drifting passively than later larvae. Active swimming behaviors did not differ significantly among ages in either relative proportions of time, bout frequencies, or bout lengths. However, certain transitions among behaviors, especially those involving drifting and downward swimming, occurred more frequently than expected by chance. Those ontogenetic changes in behavior predicted by laboratory studies on tadpoles and other larvae did not occur.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1986

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