Free Content A Neurophylogenist's View of Decapod Crustacea

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I review the occurrence among decapod taxa of the three neurologically distinct types of tailflipping behavior (medial- and lateral-giant neuron mediated escape tailflips and repetitive, non-giant mediated tailflipping) and tabulate the principal neurons known to contribute to them. The probable sequence of changes in tailflipping behaviors and underlying neuronal systems that accompanied diversification of the Anomura (Fig. 3) suggests that major changes in locomotory behaviors arose from alterations in peripheral (skeletal and muscular) systems with relatively minor modifications in the central nervous system, including the motoneurons. The reduction from three neurologically distinct behaviors to one, i.e., loss of both giant neuron mediated tailflip mechanisms, occurred in two stages: the first to be lost was LG, leaving the MG circuitry, which continued mediating escape withdrawal in Paguroidea and Thalassinidea. The remaining non-giant circuitry for tailflipping was sufficiently flexible to accommodate structural changes of the abdomen and tailfan in the Galatheoidea-Hippoidea line that included (1) addition of a telson-uropod stretch receptor in the hypothetical common ancestor of Galatheoidea and Hippoidea, (2) the appearance of return-stroke neuromusculature to remote the uropod in Hippoidea, and (3) the liberation of the uropods from movements of the abdomen and telson for use in the new hippid behavior of swimming using only the uropods.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1989

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