Cool Video of Sea Slug Dance Reveals Primitive Learning
by Stephanie Pappas
An attempt by one slug species to eat another ends in a flamboyant dance by the potential prey — and in a learning experience for the hungry predator.
A new video shows this interaction, which reveals that the predator sea slug, Pleurobranchaea californica is cleverer than previously believed. The slug, which generally eats anything it can get its mouth around, can learn to avoid nasty prey, according to new research published online in May in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
"If you’re a generalist like Pleurobranchaea, it’s highly strategic and advantageous to learn what’s good and what’s not good so you can decide whether or not to take the risk of attacking certain types of prey,” study researcher Rhanor Gillette, a physiologist at the University of Illinois, said in a statement…