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Natural visual cues eliciting predator avoidance in fiddler crabs

Smolka, Jochen LU ; Zeil, Jochen and Hemmi, Jan M. (2011) In Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences 278(1724). p.3584-3592
Abstract
To efficiently provide an animal with relevant information, the design of its visual system should reflect

the distribution of natural signals and the animal’s tasks. In many behavioural contexts, however, we

know comparatively little about the moment-to-moment information-processing challenges animals face

in their daily lives. In predator avoidance, for instance, we lack an accurate description of the natural

signal stream and its value for risk assessment throughout the prey’s defensive behaviour.We characterized

the visual signals generated by real, potentially predatory events by video-recording bird approaches towards

an Uca vomeris colony. Using four synchronized cameras allowed... (More)
To efficiently provide an animal with relevant information, the design of its visual system should reflect

the distribution of natural signals and the animal’s tasks. In many behavioural contexts, however, we

know comparatively little about the moment-to-moment information-processing challenges animals face

in their daily lives. In predator avoidance, for instance, we lack an accurate description of the natural

signal stream and its value for risk assessment throughout the prey’s defensive behaviour.We characterized

the visual signals generated by real, potentially predatory events by video-recording bird approaches towards

an Uca vomeris colony. Using four synchronized cameras allowed us to simultaneously monitor predator

avoidance responses of crabs. We reconstructed the signals generated by dangerous and non-dangerous

flying animals, identified the cues that triggered escape responses and compared them with those triggering

responses to dummy predators. Fiddler crabs responded to a combination of multiple visual cues

(including retinal speed, elevation and visual flicker) that reflect the visual signatures of distinct bird and

insect behaviours. This allowed crabs to discriminate between dangerous and non-dangerous events. The

results demonstrate the importance of measuring natural sensory signatures of biologically relevant

events in order to understand biological information processing and its effects on behavioural organization. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
fiddler crabs, Uca vomeris, predator avoidance, vision, natural visual signals
in
Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
volume
278
issue
1724
pages
3584 - 3592
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • wos:000296579800017
  • scopus:80054890083
ISSN
1471-2954
DOI
10.1098/rspb.2010.2746
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
35f98f8e-5c87-4c9d-8a6d-a57aae66f853 (old id 2254640)
alternative location
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/278/1724/3584.full
date added to LUP
2011-12-20 12:30:04
date last changed
2017-10-01 04:11:18
@article{35f98f8e-5c87-4c9d-8a6d-a57aae66f853,
  abstract     = {To efficiently provide an animal with relevant information, the design of its visual system should reflect<br/><br>
the distribution of natural signals and the animal’s tasks. In many behavioural contexts, however, we<br/><br>
know comparatively little about the moment-to-moment information-processing challenges animals face<br/><br>
in their daily lives. In predator avoidance, for instance, we lack an accurate description of the natural<br/><br>
signal stream and its value for risk assessment throughout the prey’s defensive behaviour.We characterized<br/><br>
the visual signals generated by real, potentially predatory events by video-recording bird approaches towards<br/><br>
an Uca vomeris colony. Using four synchronized cameras allowed us to simultaneously monitor predator<br/><br>
avoidance responses of crabs. We reconstructed the signals generated by dangerous and non-dangerous<br/><br>
flying animals, identified the cues that triggered escape responses and compared them with those triggering<br/><br>
responses to dummy predators. Fiddler crabs responded to a combination of multiple visual cues<br/><br>
(including retinal speed, elevation and visual flicker) that reflect the visual signatures of distinct bird and<br/><br>
insect behaviours. This allowed crabs to discriminate between dangerous and non-dangerous events. The<br/><br>
results demonstrate the importance of measuring natural sensory signatures of biologically relevant<br/><br>
events in order to understand biological information processing and its effects on behavioural organization.},
  author       = {Smolka, Jochen and Zeil, Jochen and Hemmi, Jan M.},
  issn         = {1471-2954},
  keyword      = {fiddler crabs,Uca vomeris,predator avoidance,vision,natural visual signals},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1724},
  pages        = {3584--3592},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Natural visual cues eliciting predator avoidance in fiddler crabs},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.2746},
  volume       = {278},
  year         = {2011},
}