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Evolutionary Ecology of Social and Sexual SystemsCrustaceans as Model Organisms$
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J. Emmett Duffy and Martin Thiel

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179927

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179927.001.0001

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The Behavioral Ecology of Crustaceans

The Behavioral Ecology of Crustaceans

A Primer in Taxonomy, Morphology, and Biology

(p.3) 1 The Behavioral Ecology of Crustaceans
Evolutionary Ecology of Social and Sexual Systems

Martin Thiel

J. Emmett Duffy

Oxford University Press

A key feature of crustaceans important in their social and sexual evolution is the presence of supernumerary appendages that are modified for a variety of functions. Claws are employed in agonistic and courtship interactions, underlining their importance in the evolution of social behavior. Other appendages carry diverse chemosensory structures, allowing crustaceans to obtain information about their environment, including the presence, status, and even individual identity of conspecifics. Most crustaceans are aquatic and, as a group, crustaceans are best adapted to this environment. Most large decapods release planktonic larvae, but many smaller and terrestrial crustaceans release fully developed offspring. The mode of dispersal influences the structure of kin groups and populations, and the behavioral constraints and opportunities that arise therefrom. Besides such organismal characteristics, extrinsic factors such as resource availability and predation have figured in the evolution of social and sexual systems in crustaceans. Present knowledge of their social behavior is approaching levels that permit rigorous comparisons across taxa, making crustaceans a valuable model system for the study of social and sexual evolution.

Keywords:   functional morphology, anatomy, growth, molting, reproductive biology, developmental mode, dispersal

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