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A new use for useless eyes in cave crustaceans

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[Cave animals show various adaptations to survival in their unusual environment, involving their physiology, behaviour, life history, and morphology. The morphological adaptations include enlargement of the sensory and ambulatory appendages, reduction or lack of pigment in the integument, and reduction or loss of eyes. In general, the eyes of cave animals show only non-constructive adaptations: however, we have found setae on the corneal surfaces in three different genera of cave decapods (Potamalpheops, Macrobrachium, and Procambarus) where setae are normally never present. We suggest that this constitutes the development of a new function for the obsolescent eyes, either tactile or chemosensory. This obviously underscores the general hypertrophy of non-visual sensory systems in cave organisms. Los animales cavernícolas muestran singulares adaptaciones para sobrevivir en sus ambientes, involucrando principalmente características de su fisiología, comportamiento, historia de vida. Las adaptaciones morfológicas frecuentemente comprenden el alargamiento de los apéndices sensoriales y ambulatorios, reducción o carencia total de pigmentos en el integumento, así como una disminución o pérdida total de los ojos. En general los ojos de los animales cavernícolas solo tienen adaptaciones no constructivas; sin embargo, nosotros hemos encontrado setas sobre las superficies de la cornea en tres géneros diferentes de decápodos cavernícolas (Potamalpheops, Macrobrachium, y Procambarus) donde las setas normalmente nunca están presentes sobre la cornea. Sugerimos que esto constituye el desarrollo de una nueva función para los ojos obsoletos, ya sea táctil o quimioreceptora. Esto obviamente subraya la hipertrofia general de los sistemas sensoriales no visuales en los organismos de cueva., Cave animals show various adaptations to survival in their unusual environment, involving their physiology, behaviour, life history, and morphology. The morphological adaptations include enlargement of the sensory and ambulatory appendages, reduction or lack of pigment in the integument, and reduction or loss of eyes. In general, the eyes of cave animals show only non-constructive adaptations: however, we have found setae on the corneal surfaces in three different genera of cave decapods (Potamalpheops, Macrobrachium, and Procambarus) where setae are normally never present. We suggest that this constitutes the development of a new function for the obsolescent eyes, either tactile or chemosensory. This obviously underscores the general hypertrophy of non-visual sensory systems in cave organisms. Los animales cavernícolas muestran singulares adaptaciones para sobrevivir en sus ambientes, involucrando principalmente características de su fisiología, comportamiento, historia de vida. Las adaptaciones morfológicas frecuentemente comprenden el alargamiento de los apéndices sensoriales y ambulatorios, reducción o carencia total de pigmentos en el integumento, así como una disminución o pérdida total de los ojos. En general los ojos de los animales cavernícolas solo tienen adaptaciones no constructivas; sin embargo, nosotros hemos encontrado setas sobre las superficies de la cornea en tres géneros diferentes de decápodos cavernícolas (Potamalpheops, Macrobrachium, y Procambarus) donde las setas normalmente nunca están presentes sobre la cornea. Sugerimos que esto constituye el desarrollo de una nueva función para los ojos obsoletos, ya sea táctil o quimioreceptora. Esto obviamente subraya la hipertrofia general de los sistemas sensoriales no visuales en los organismos de cueva.]

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/content/journals/10.1163/156854006777584313
2006-05-01
2017-02-27

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