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  • By trying it all, predatory sea slug learns what not to eat

    University of Illinois molecular and integrative physiology professor Rhanor Gillette and his team found that the predatory sea slug, Pleurobranchaea californica exhibits a learned avoidance behavior when confronted with another type of sea slug, Flabellina iodinea.

    University of Illinois molecular and integrative physiology professor Rhanor Gillette and his team found that the predatory sea slug, Pleurobranchaea californica exhibits a learned avoidance behavior when confronted with another type of sea slug, Flabellina iodinea.

    Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      University of Illinois molecular and integrative physiology professor Rhanor Gillette and his team found that the predatory sea slug, Pleurobranchaea californica exhibits a learned avoidance behavior when confronted with another type of sea slug, Flabellina iodinea.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      VIDEO: The predatory sea slug, Pleurobranchaea californica, left, shows avoidance behavior when it first confronts sea slug Flabellina iodinea. Thirty minutes later, Pleurobranchaea is shown to continue its learned avoidance behavior. This avoidance behavior is much more complex than what Pleurobranchaea, which has a simple nervous system, was thought to be capable of having.

      Photo by Rhanor Gillette

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  • To reach Rhanor Gillette, call 217- 333-0328; email rhanor@life.illinois.edu. The paper, “Selective prey avoidance learning in the predatory sea-slug Pleurobranchaea californica,” is available online or from the U. of I. News Bureau.