The Well-Modulated Lobster
When serotonin or octopamine are injected into freely moving lobsters, animals assume static poses that last for prolonged periods of time (up to several hours). With serotonin injection, animals stand in a flexed posture high on the tips of their walking legs with their claws spread apart and slightly open in front of them and their abdomens loosely tucked underneath them. With octopamine injection, animals lie close to the substrate in an extended posture with their walking legs and claws pointed forward and lifted off the substrate and their abdomens gently arching upward (Livingstone et al, 1980). Such poses are normally seen in lobster behavior. For example, lobsters assume serotoninlike poses when startled, during agonistic encounters (at the beginning of a “fight” and when a “winner” emerges), and during part of the mating cycle (male only). Animals assume octopaminelike poses during agonistic encounters (the “loser”), during mating (female only), and, in young animals, while “playing-dead” in threatening situations (Scrivener, 1971; Atema and Cobb, 1980).
KeywordsNerve Root Excitatory Neuron Ventral Nerve Cord Thoracic Ganglion Agonistic Encounter
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