Swimming in the mollusc Clione limacina based on wing flapping
This chapter focuses on the sea angel Clione limacina, a marine mollusc and its importance for examining all components of the locomotor control system at the network and cellular levels. An adult Clione is normally 3–5 cm long and is normally oriented vertically, with its head up, hovering or slowly swimming upward in the water column due to rhythmic movements of its two wings. Since Clione is slightly negatively buoyant, only these continuous wing oscillations prevent it from sinking. The frequency of wing flapping during hovering or slow swimming is 1–2 Hz, but it can increase up to 3–5 Hz in some other forms of behaviour. The flapping cycle consists of two symmetrical parts, the dorsal flexion and the ventral flexion. Due to the specific configuration of the wing profile, with the posterior edge remaining behind the anterior one, propulsive force is generated in both phases of the swim cycle. The central nervous system of Clione has a ganglionic structure that is typical of invertebrates in general. In each ganglion, cell bodies form a layer around the central neuropil area. There are five pairs of central ganglia in Clione with a specific distribution of functions that is characteristic of other gastropod molluscs as well. Swimming in Clione is based on rhythmical flapping of two wings. All components of the locomotor control system in Clione have been extensively examined at the cellular levels, and their organization and function have been understood to a considerable extent.
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