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On learning and living in holes by mantis shrimp

Author(s): Reaka ML

Abstract

Mantis shrimp (Stomatopoda, Crustacea) that normally occupy holes in coral were presented with novel burrows (Erlenmeyer flasks painted black) in the laboratory. Individuals learn to recognize characteristics of the flask and enter, the burrow increasingly rapidly with repeated exposure to the flask. Individuals show consistently fast or slow learning curves, suggesting individual differences in learning ability. Three to seven days appears to be a critical period during which the stimulus must be re-encountered, or else the response is partially forgotten.

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