Friday, June 06, 2008

Cuttlefish embryo watches prey from inside eggs

This is seriously creepy - like some sci-fi movie. Embryos peering out of their eggs watching their prey! Baby cuttlefish have fully developed eyes even when they are inside the eggs. And whatever they see while inside becomes their preferred prey after they are born.

It is the first time any animal has been shown to learn visual images before they are born. Ludovic Dickel and his colleagues at the University of Caen Basse-Normandy, France, made the discovery by placing crabs alongside cuttlefish eggs in a series of laboratory tanks. Those embryos exposed to crabs preferred them as prey later in life, the scientists report in the journal Animal Behaviour. The young embryos must be able to see through their translucent egg case, the scientists believe, and learn which animals are worth hunting even before they have hatched. "This is the first time there is evidence of visual learning by embryos," said Dr Dickel. (More Here: Link)

No comments: