Influence of Siphonophore Behavior upon Their Natural Diets: Evidence for Aggressive Mimicry

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Science  29 Aug 1980:
Vol. 209, Issue 4460, pp. 1045-1047
DOI: 10.1126/science.209.4460.1045


Collection by divers permitted determination of the natural diets of siphonophore species within II genera. Siphonophores that swim rapidly to spread their tentacles capture small prey, whereas those that swim very weakly capture much larger prey. Nematocyst batteries of two species of weak swimmers closely resemble copepods and fish larvae. Morphology, behavior, and diet suggest that these two species attract large prey by mimicking other zooplankton.

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