Force Generation in Juvenile Limulus Polyphemus: Effects on Mobility in the Intertidal Environment
Abstract:The locomotory forces generated by first-year juvenile Limulus in and out of water were measured, using calibrated current flows and strain gauges, respectively. Until the fifth juvenile instar, the animals cannot generate a crawling force equal to their bodyweights when out of water. When submerged, all sizes through the fifth instar can withstand approximately the same amount of current, 23 to 25 mm˙sec–1; at higher velocities, they are swept away. Submerged juveniles move using two different strategies: they either bound across the substrate at a rate of about 5.0 mm˙ sec–1, or plow through sand with the prosoma partly buried. The limitations of the locomotory forces these juvenile stages can generate appear to be important in the constraint of their activities to the hours around low tide.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 1990
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