The behavioral responses of the fiddler crab, UCA PUGILATOR, to ionizing irradiation
Terwilliger, Robert Chapman
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Many animals, invertebrates as well as vertebrates, have demonstrated an ability to somehow sense ionizing irradiation. This recognition is often apparent by a behavioral response which can be correlated with the x-ray stimulus in some way. The fiddler crab, Uca pugilator, was found to exhibit a behavioral response to ionizing irradiation. When the x-ray machine was turned off, the animal would respond instantaneously by a marked hesitation in its general movement after which it would resume its normal activity. This response suggests the animal's ability to somehow be aware of irradiation. Previous work in this area suggested that the photoreceptors were the primary site of stimulation. The fiddler crab's photoreceptors, located at the ends of protruding eye-stalks, are particularly easily excised. When the eye stalks were rer1oved, the response to x-rays was no longer evident. A parallel series of experiments were done with ltght as the stimulus. With intact eyestalks, the animal showed the same off response, and with the eyestalk removed, the subject exhibited no such response. The possibility of a direct stimulation of nervous structures as well as that of an indirect activation by the x-ray evoked release of bioactive substances is discussed. After considering the sinus gland, which was also removed along with the photoreceptors, as a possible site of x-ray reception, a strong implication that the photoreceptors are the primary locus of x-ray sensitivity in the fiddler crab was stated. The marked dose rate dependency of the animal's response to x-rays was noted, and a possible explanation was suggested.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University. Note: Page 24 is missing.
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