Adaptive Complexity of Interactions Between Feeding and Escape in Crayfish

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Science  19 Aug 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4612, pp. 779-781
DOI: 10.1126/science.221.4612.779


If crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) are presented with food or threatstimuli, or both, their feeding behavior and escape from threat by tail flips showflexible patterns of interaction. If they are engaged in eating large, relativelyimmovable pieces of food, escape is inhibited, whereas if small pieces of food arebeing eaten, the probability of escape is enhanced. If escape occurs during a feedingbout, large pieces of food are usually released, but small ones are not. Theseobservations suggest that the neural circuitry responsible for coordination ofbehavior in invertebrates may not be as simple as usually assumed.