Do gulls benefit from the starfish autotomy response?

Iain Wilkie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Certain starfish have a restricted autotomy region at the base of each arm, at which the whole arm is detached if damaged or
trapped. These species are common prey items of gulls, which have been observed to break-up starfish by gripping one arm and
shaking the whole animal. This raises the possibility that shaking invokes the autotomy response, thereby accelerating
consumption of prey and reducing the opportunity for prey to be stolen. To evaluate the role of autotomy in this interaction,
specimens of Asterias rubens were shaken manually and the timing and pattern of breakage recorded. It was found that arm
detachment was usually mediated by autotomy, although this depended on the way in which animals were shaken, and that
autotomy did not effect detachment more rapidly than breakage outwith the autotomy region.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Biodiversity Records
Volume3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Fingerprint

autotomy
Asteroidea
Laridae
Asterias rubens
animals
breakage
animal

Keywords

  • predation
  • starfish
  • autotomy
  • gulls
  • Asterias rubens

Cite this

@article{4aac596835614cbbbb82729f9586b121,
title = "Do gulls benefit from the starfish autotomy response?",
abstract = "Certain starfish have a restricted autotomy region at the base of each arm, at which the whole arm is detached if damaged ortrapped. These species are common prey items of gulls, which have been observed to break-up starfish by gripping one arm andshaking the whole animal. This raises the possibility that shaking invokes the autotomy response, thereby acceleratingconsumption of prey and reducing the opportunity for prey to be stolen. To evaluate the role of autotomy in this interaction,specimens of Asterias rubens were shaken manually and the timing and pattern of breakage recorded. It was found that armdetachment was usually mediated by autotomy, although this depended on the way in which animals were shaken, and thatautotomy did not effect detachment more rapidly than breakage outwith the autotomy region.",
keywords = "predation, starfish, autotomy, gulls, Asterias rubens",
author = "Iain Wilkie",
note = "<p>Originally published in: Marine Biodiversity Records (2010), volume 3.</p>",
year = "2010",
month = "1",
day = "1",
language = "English",
volume = "3",
journal = "Marine Biodiversity Records",
issn = "1755-2672",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",

}

Do gulls benefit from the starfish autotomy response? / Wilkie, Iain.

In: Marine Biodiversity Records, Vol. 3, 01.01.2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Do gulls benefit from the starfish autotomy response?

AU - Wilkie, Iain

N1 - <p>Originally published in: Marine Biodiversity Records (2010), volume 3.</p>

PY - 2010/1/1

Y1 - 2010/1/1

N2 - Certain starfish have a restricted autotomy region at the base of each arm, at which the whole arm is detached if damaged ortrapped. These species are common prey items of gulls, which have been observed to break-up starfish by gripping one arm andshaking the whole animal. This raises the possibility that shaking invokes the autotomy response, thereby acceleratingconsumption of prey and reducing the opportunity for prey to be stolen. To evaluate the role of autotomy in this interaction,specimens of Asterias rubens were shaken manually and the timing and pattern of breakage recorded. It was found that armdetachment was usually mediated by autotomy, although this depended on the way in which animals were shaken, and thatautotomy did not effect detachment more rapidly than breakage outwith the autotomy region.

AB - Certain starfish have a restricted autotomy region at the base of each arm, at which the whole arm is detached if damaged ortrapped. These species are common prey items of gulls, which have been observed to break-up starfish by gripping one arm andshaking the whole animal. This raises the possibility that shaking invokes the autotomy response, thereby acceleratingconsumption of prey and reducing the opportunity for prey to be stolen. To evaluate the role of autotomy in this interaction,specimens of Asterias rubens were shaken manually and the timing and pattern of breakage recorded. It was found that armdetachment was usually mediated by autotomy, although this depended on the way in which animals were shaken, and thatautotomy did not effect detachment more rapidly than breakage outwith the autotomy region.

KW - predation

KW - starfish

KW - autotomy

KW - gulls

KW - Asterias rubens

M3 - Article

VL - 3

JO - Marine Biodiversity Records

JF - Marine Biodiversity Records

SN - 1755-2672

ER -