Monday, 17 December 2012

Squidlike Creatures Turn Left to Avoid Predators

Smelling the scents of predators may help the cuttlefish brain prepare for quick escapes before it even hatches, new research finds.

The study helps explain why these squidlike cephalopods (and perhaps other animals) show differences between the two sides of their brains and bodies — known as lateralization. Lateralization is the reason most humans favor either their right or left hands, and many living organisms show some signs of lateralization.

Clever, color-changing cuttlefish preferentially turn left when confronted with danger, a side preference that is linked to differences in visual processing on either side of the cuttlefish brain. Researchers at the Universit√© de Caen Basse-Normandie in France wanted to find out how this lateralization develops, and whether genes or environment play the biggest role. 

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