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24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
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ScienceShot: Anemones Have Personality
15 July 2011 12:23 pm
For gelatinous blobs, sea anemones have a lot of personality. Animals are considered to have personalities when individuals show consistent differences in behavior across time or situations. In a paper published online this month in PLoS ONE, researchers showed that over the course of 3 weeks, individual wild beadlet anemones, Actinia equina, were remarkably reliable in how long they kept their tentacles withdrawn after being surprised by squirts of water. Each anemone maintained its "startle response" for anywhere from about 3 to 20 minutes, but the duration was roughly the same in response to every squirt. And the trend held regardless of the temperature in the anemones' tide pool homes, a variable that can affect behavior. In fact, the anemones showed more consistency than most other animals tested for personality in the wild. A variety of vertebrates and a handful of invertebrates, including octopuses and spiders—even a bacterium—are members of the personality club, but the researchers say sea anemones set a new bar as the animal with the simplest nervous system.
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