Mantis Shrimp Navigate Home Using Celestial and Idiothetic Path Integration
38 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2020 Publication Status: Under ReviewMore...
Path integration is a robust mechanism that many animals employ to return to specific locations, typically their homes, during navigation. This efficient navigational strategy has never been demonstrated in a fully aquatic animal, where sensory cues used for orientation may differ dramatically from those available above the water’s surface. Here we report that the mantis shrimp, Neogonodactylus oerstedii, uses path integration informed by a hierarchical reliance on the sun, overhead polarization patterns, and idiothetic (internal) orientation cues to return home when foraging, making them the first fully aquatic path-integrating animals yet discovered. We show that mantis shrimp rely on navigational strategies closely resembling those used by insect navigators, opening a new avenue for the investigation of the neural basis of navigation behaviors and the evolution of these strategies in arthropods and potentially other animals as well.
Keywords: navigation, path integration, orientation, mantis shrimp, stomatopod, homing, celestial polarization patterns, sun compass, idiothetic orientation, marine biology
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