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Frontiers in Physiology


This study investigates the development of swimming abilities and its relationship with morphology, growth, and nourishment of reared Doryteuthis opalescens paralarvae from hatching to 60 days of age. Paralarvae (2.5–11 mm mantle length – ML) were videotaped, and their behavior quantified throughout development using computerized motion analysis. Hatchlings swim dispersed maintaining large nearest neighbor distances (NND, 8.7 ML), with swimming speeds (SS) of 3–8 mm s-1 and paths with long horizontal displacements, resulting in high net to gross displacement ratios (NGDR). For 15-day-old paralarvae, swimming paths are more consistent between jets, growth of fins, length, and mass increases. The swimming pattern of 18-day-old paralarvae starved for 72 h exhibited a significant reduction in mean SS and inability to perform escape jets. A key morphological, behavioral, and ecological transition occurs at about 6 mm ML (>35-day old), when there is a clear change in body shape, swimming performance, and behavior, paths are more regularly repeated and directional swimming is evident, suggesting that morphological changes incur in swimming performance. These squid are able to perform sustained swimming and hover against a current at significantly closer NND (2.0 ML), as path displacement is reduced and maneuverability increases. As paralarvae reach 6–7 mm ML, they are able to attain speeds up to 562 mm s-1 and to form schools. Social feeding interactions (kleptoparasitism) are often observed prior to the formation of schools. Schools are always formed within areas of high flow gradient in the tanks and are dependent on squid size and current speed. Fin development is a requisite for synchronized and maneuverable swimming of schooling early juveniles. Although average speeds of paralarvae are within intermediate Reynolds numbers (Re < 100), they make the transition to the inertia-dominated realm during escape jets of high propulsion (Re > 3200), transitioning from plankton to nekton after their first month of life. The progressive development of swimming capabilities and social interactions enable juvenile squid to school, while also accelerates learning, orientation and cognition. These observations indicate that modeling of the lifecycle should include competency to exert influence over small currents and dispersal patterns after the first month of life.


Published in Frontiers in Physiology by Frontiers Media. Available via doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00954.

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