Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fighting Australian Crayfish Do Not Forget The Face Of Foes

Date:
February 29, 2008
Source:
University of Melbourne
Summary:
The fighting Australian crayfish (yabby) does not forget the face of its foes according to zoologists. In the study, after a fight, the loser yabby was isolated and given a choice between its opponent and another crayfish not involved in the fight. The loser yabby moved towards the opponent it knew as opposed to the rival it did not, revealing that a yabby is capable of visual identity not just an acute sense of smell.

Cherax destructor (yabby) from Australia.
Credit: iStockphoto/Chris Lukhaup

The fighting Australian yabby, a type of crayfish, smaller than a lobster but similar in appearance, does not forget the face of its foes says new research from University of Melbourne zoologists.

Related Articles


The two year study involving over 100 pairs of yabbies revealed that the species Cherax destructor is capable of facial recognition of individuals, particularly its opponents.

“This is a remarkable capacity for the invertebrate species of yabbies and freshwater crayfish. This is an ability known in humans and some vertebrates but in only a handful of invertebrate species,” said Professor David MacMillan, Head of the Department of Zoology who has led the research.

“Yabbies usually fight when they meet. It is as much a way of meeting each other as a way of establishing territory.”

Professor Macmillan said an understanding of how simple nervous systems recognise features may assist in developing feature recognition in robots.

In the study, after a fight, the loser yabby was isolated and given a choice between its opponent and another crayfish not involved in the fight.

The loser yabby moved towards the opponent it knew as opposed to the rival it did not, revealing that a yabby is capable of visual identity not just an acute sense of smell. “Careful observation by our team showed that the facial region is the important area for recognition of yabbies during and after a fight,” Professor Macmillan said.

“In particular we showed highly variable cues are used such as colour and face width.”

Researchers also tested whether it is possible to engineer false identifications and whether animals can distinguish between twin opponents. “We continue to find the yabby is capable of more than we expected for an animal with such a simple nervous system and an invertebrate.”

"Yabbies remember the smell of other crayfish but the extent to which they remember visual features has previously been unknown.”

The research by the University’s Department of Zoology has been published February 28 in the PLoS ONE journal.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Melbourne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Melbourne. "Fighting Australian Crayfish Do Not Forget The Face Of Foes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228093223.htm>.
University of Melbourne. (2008, February 29). Fighting Australian Crayfish Do Not Forget The Face Of Foes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228093223.htm
University of Melbourne. "Fighting Australian Crayfish Do Not Forget The Face Of Foes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228093223.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins