Bilateral symmetry and locomotion: do elliptical regular sea urchins proceed along their longer body axis?
- 164 Downloads
Vagile animals usually have bilaterally symmetrical bodies and proceed with their mouth-end first. Regular sea urchins have, however, radially symmetrical bodies with their mouth facing the substratum and show no preference in which side of the body should be anterior in their locomotion. The elliptical sea urchins in the subfamily Echinometrinae are exceptional among regular sea urchins in having elongated bilateral bodies. We studied whether they showed the preference in the direction of locomotion using Echinometra sp. type A. Directional preference was not observed in the proceedings in an open space. However, they proceeded preferentially with their long axis coinciding with the direction of locomotion when they moved along the water surface or along the wall of the aquarium. The speed of locomotion was the same irrespective of the direction of proceedings and of whether sea urchins moved freely or moved along the water surface or along the walls. We suggest that the bilateral body form and the habit of long-axis lead of this sea urchin have adaptive significance to increase the protected body surfaces, not to facilitate the efficiency in locomotion.
KeywordsDrag Reduction Vertical Wall Bilateral Symmetry Directional Proceeding Symmetrical Body
We would like to thanks the anonymous reviewer, Dr. H-A. Takeuchi of Shizuoka University and Dr. M. Hironaka of Hamamatsu University School of Medicine for the information on circular statistics. We would like to express thanks Dr. O. Ellers of Bowdoin College for improvement of statistical method description. We are grateful to Y. Nakano of Sesoko Marine Science Center and M. Obuchi of Tokyo Institute of Technology for collecting sea urchins. This work was supported by the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) (No. 18916007) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, and the grant of Research Institute of Marine Invertebrates, Japan to K.Y.
- Batschelet E (1981) Circular statistics in biology. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Beklemishev VN (1969) Principles of comparative anatomy of invertebrates. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
- Hyman LH (1955) The Invertebrates: Echinodermata, 4. Echinoidea. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Ito Y, Hayashi I (1998) Basic behavior of three species of sea urchins under experimental conditions. In: Mooi R, Telford M (eds) Echinoderms. A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam, p 694Google Scholar
- Kier PM (1987) Class Echinoidea. In: Boardman RS, Cheetham HC, Rowell AJ (eds) Fossil Invertebrates. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 596–611Google Scholar
- Millott N, Yoshida M (1957) The spectral sensitivity of the Echinoid Diadema antillarum Philippi. J Exp Biol 34:394–401Google Scholar
- Nishihira M, Sato Y, Arakaki Y, Tsuchiya M (1991) Ecological distribution and habitat preference of four types of the sea urchin Echinometra mathaei on the Okinawan coral reefs. In: Yanagisawa T, Yasumasu I, Oguro C, Suzuki N, Motokawa T (eds) Biology of Echinodermata. A. A Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 91–104Google Scholar
- Parker GH (1936) Direction and means of locomotion in the regular sea urchin Lytechinus. Mém du Mus Roy d’Hist Nat de Bel, deu sér Fasc 3:197–208Google Scholar
- Rahman MA, Uehara T (2004) Interspecific hybridization and backcrosses between two sibling species of pacific sea urchins (genus Echinometra) on Okinawan intertidal reefs. Zool Stud 43:93–111Google Scholar
- Smith AB (1988) Phylogenetic relationship, divergence times, and rates of molecular evolution for Camarodont sea urchins. Mol Biol Evol 5:345–365Google Scholar
- Uehara T (1990) Speciation in Echinometra mathaei. Iden 44:47–53 (In Japanese)Google Scholar
- Zar JH (1999) Biostatistical analysis. Peason Education, SingaporeGoogle Scholar