To facilitate the transport of odorant laden flow to the antennu

To facilitate the transport of odorant laden flow to the antennules, many aquatic animals use flicking or fanning of their appendages [5,10]. This behavior is often described as ��sniffing��. A flicking motion often involves a fast down-stroke and a slower return-stroke, leading to entrapment of odorant molecules between the aesthetascs, which lowers the diffusion time of odorants to the aesthetasc surface and enables these animals to discretely sample their ambient environment [11,12].Figure 1.(A) The freshwater crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, with lateral antennule labeled. Grid in the background is 1 �� 1 cm; (B) Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the lateral antennule with (a) chemosensory aesthetascs and (b) mechanosensory sensilla …

The odorant plumes encountered in the environment of these organisms are often turbulent and highly filamentous in nature [6,13]. Due to stirring by the turbulent motion of the fluid, the spatial and temporal distribution of odors is complex and filaments of high odor concentration are often adjacent to little or no odorants [13,14]. These distributions in odorants also change in response to variations in the ambient flow speed and bed roughness, where the variance in odorant fluctuations is reduced for rougher beds [15] and greater mean velocities [13]. Certain cues, such as correlations between the flow kinematics and odorant concentration that the animal sense through the chemoreceptors and mechanoreceptors, can provide valuable information regarding the plume source.

However, due to the high intermittency and temporal and spatial variability of the plume, this often reduces the ability of organisms, such as the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, to successfully navigate to the source of an attractive odor [16].1.2. Sampling Rates and Tracking Strategies in CrustaceansThe frequency of flicking and sensitivity to odorants can alter the tracking strategy in the animals. Higher sampling frequency allows an Entinostat animal to sample a larger number of odorant filaments as it moves through the plume [13]. Blue crabs C. sapidus, spiny lobsters Panulirus argus and freshwater crayfish Procambarus clarkii all flick their antennules at a rate of approximately 3 Hz, but can vary between 0.5 and 4 Hz [13,17]. Although it was previously assumed that most odor tracking by animals occurred by responding to time-averaged concentration gradients in a plume [18], the speed at which plume-tracking maneuvers occur suggest that more instantaneous sensory feedbacks are being utilized [8,19], and that time-averaged concentrations converge too slowly to be useful to a foraging animal [20].

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