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Title: Interpreting the Spatial-Temporal Structure of Turbulent Chemical Plumes Utilized in Odor Tracking by Lobsters
Olfactory systems in animals play a major role in finding food and mates, avoiding predators, and communication. Chemical tracking in odorant plumes has typically been considered a spatial information problem where individuals navigate towards higher concentration. Recent research involving chemosensory neurons in the spiny lobster, Panulirus argus, show they possess rhythmically active or ‘bursting’ olfactory receptor neurons that respond to the intermittency in the odor signal. This suggests a possible, previously unexplored olfactory search strategy that enables lobsters to utilize the temporal variability within a turbulent plume to track the source. This study utilized computational fluid dynamics to simulate the turbulent dispersal of odorants and assess a number of search strategies thought to aid lobsters. These strategies include quantification of concentration magnitude using chemosensory antennules and leg chemosensors, simultaneous sampling of water velocities using antennule mechanosensors, and utilization of antennules to quantify intermittency of the odorant plume. Results show that lobsters can utilize intermittency in the odorant signal to track an odorant plume faster and with greater success in finding the source than utilizing concentration alone. However, the additional use of lobster leg chemosensors reduced search time compared to both antennule intermittency and concentration strategies alone by providing spatially separated odorant sensors along the body.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1631864
NSF-PAR ID:
10189717
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Fluids
Volume:
5
Issue:
2
ISSN:
2311-5521
Page Range / eLocation ID:
82
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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