Scientists have found that mantis shrimp find the direction to the house with the help of integration path — is characterized by its position relative to the hole and determine the shortest vector to it. Animals are guided by three types take the following precedence order: the sun, light polarization or internal guidelines. Article passes peer review in the journal Current Biology, Preprint available in an electronic library Social Science Research Network.
Many animals have to find their way home, for example, migratory birds, or for those who hunt far from home. One of the navigation methods in animals — integration path, when one remembers the scheme of their movements, and then returns to the starting point not the same route, and by the shortest vector. For this we have to keep in mind the angle of each turn, calculate the direction to the house and constantly update it — it is a force not to everyone. However, the integration paths are many land animals, best of all, this behavior is studied in social insects.
About navigation aquatic organisms are scarce, and the ability to integrate the way they still did not notice. Themselves, the benchmarks against which animals can find their way home, under water differ significantly. For example, not clearly seen the sun, the moon and the stars (for it is oriented not only seamen, but also birds and insects), and overall visibility of any object less. Differently in the aquatic environment are distributed and smells — and they are also an important hint for navigation of terrestrial animals.
Some of the most amazing underwater creatures — mantis shrimp, crustaceans from the order of mantis shrimp. Cancers-mantises one of the most complex vision systems known, and their forelimbs are powerful weapons. These creatures live in burrows that you dig for yourself in the seabed, and are selected for hunting or to find a partner. More than a few meters from the house mantis shrimp do not go away, but for their size (less than five inches) is a considerable distance. The task is to find her hole is complicated by the fact that dwellings of different cancers can be located very close to each other (sometimes 10 inches), and protect their territory these animals are very aggressive.
Rikesh Patel (Rickesh Patel) and Thomas Cronin (Thomas Cronin) at the University of Maryland observed the movements of preserved mantis shrimp Neogonodactylus oerstedii in the arena with no visible landmarks. Nora’s animals were not visible from the surface, at a distance of about 70 centimeters from the house, the experimenter put the food. Mantis examined the arena, until he found food and then went to the hole in a straight path. The objective of the experiment was to understand how animals determine the direction to the house: through the integration of route or by an alternative mechanism. To find out, the researchers carefully moved the crayfish while they ate — the food were placed on platforms that could be joined together with the animal. If cancers of the used integration path, the path to the house would remain parallel to the original, but would have shifted according to the movement of the platform.
When preserved mantis shrimp are not baffled, they went to the burrows on the shortest path, deviating on average by eight degrees. When animals are quietly moved, they still crawled in a straight line, but not to the house, but where would the hole be if it moved along with cancer. The length of the straight trajectory was the same as the distance from the trough to the hole; after it, the animals begin to survey the area around him in search of a home.