Under threat... Chemical communication in decapods. A minireview on the role of olfaction during agonistic interactions.
Main Article Content
Decapod crustaceans is an animal group whose functional characteristics make it an ideal model for many neurophysiological studies, from basic cellular function to integrative and the so-called superior brain functions. Olfaction and chemical detection are two faces of detection of water-dissolved compounds that are determinant for the survival of the individual as well as the species. Olfaction in particular, shares many anatomical commonalities with insects but also with vertebrates. The elaborated coding and the integration process of olfactory information seem both basic and highly complex to identify and differentiate unknown dissolved molecules that participate in mating, mating selection, and agonistic encounters. Not a single compound or a mixture of compounds associated with winning or losing agonistic encounters have been isolated. When two size-matched unknown winners or two size-matched unknown losers are paired a new winner emerges, which implies new coding/decoding and integrative processes have occurred. We do not know what these processes are, but pinpoint to the more important events in these relationships quite important in the maintenance of territoriality, access to food and mate, etc.
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