Crown-of-Thorns Starfish recognizes communication molecules from peers

6. April 2017 - 2:00

The Crown-of-Thorns starfish were left in an aquatic Y-shaped maze overnight (on top). In one of the smaller branches (bottom left on the left-hand tank and bottom right on the right-hand tank) scientists added water collected around starfish aggregations from inside an aquarium, suspecting they communicate through water-borne signals to gather in huge populations during spawning events. The COTS can be seen moving towards these specific locations, suggesting the animal reacts to molecules induced by another COTS. 

Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)(