Going up or sideways? Perception of space and obstacles negotiating by cuttlefish

Scata, Gabriella, Darmaillacq, Anne-Sophie, Dickel, Ludovic, McCusker, Steve and Shashar, Nadav (2017) Going up or sideways? Perception of space and obstacles negotiating by cuttlefish. Frontiers in Physiology, 8 MAR: . doi:10.3389/fphys.2017.00173

Author Scata, Gabriella
Darmaillacq, Anne-Sophie
Dickel, Ludovic
McCusker, Steve
Shashar, Nadav
Title Going up or sideways? Perception of space and obstacles negotiating by cuttlefish
Journal name Frontiers in Physiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1664-042X
Publication date 2017-03-27
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3389/fphys.2017.00173
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Issue MAR
Total pages 10
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Language eng
Formatted abstract
While octopuses are mostly benthic animals, and squid prefer the open waters, cuttlefish present a special intermediate stage. Although their body structure resembles that of a squid, in many cases their behavior is mostly benthic. To test cuttlefish's preference in the use of space, we trained juvenile Sepia gibba and Sepia officinalis cuttlefish to reach a shelter at the opposite side of a tank. Afterwards, rock barriers were placed between the starting point and the shelter. In one experiment, direct paths were available both through the sand and over the rocks. In a second experiment the direct path was blocked by small rocks requiring a short detour to by-pass. In the third experiment instead, the only direct path available was over the rocks; or else to reach the goal via an exclusively horizontal path a longer detour would have to be selected. We showed that cuttlefish prefer to move horizontally when a direct route or a short detour path is available close to the ground; however when faced with significant obstacles they can and would preferentially choose a more direct path requiring a vertical movement over a longer exclusively horizontal path. Therefore, cuttlefish appear to be predominantly benthic dwellers that prefer to stay near the bottom. Nonetheless, they do view and utilize the vertical space in their daily movements where it plays a role in night foraging, obstacles negotiation and movement in their home-range.
Keyword Space perception
Obstacles negotiation
Three-dimensional space
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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