Meeting Abstract

BART.1  Thursday, Jan. 3  From shrimp hammers to lobster harmonics: evolutionary mechanics of movement and communication in the sea PATEK, Sheila N.; Univ. of California, Berkeley

From mantis shrimp hammers to spiny lobster violins, the same underlying principles guide the interplay between evolutionary variation and the rules of physics. I will present ongoing research about the biomechanics and evolution of mantis shrimp raptorial strikes and spiny lobster anti-predator acoustics. Derived from a single mechanical system, the mantis shrimpís (Stomatopoda) raptorial appendage has diversified across hundreds of species into tools ranging from hammers to hatchets. This diversity of morphologies and functions provides a rich dataset to examine how the mechanism has been modified to perform these functions and to analyze the historical pathways of these changes. The spiny lobsterís (Palinuridae) sound-producing mechanism also exhibits considerable evolutionary variation, from the scale of frictional surface properties to the overall size of the component parts. I will probe the evolutionary correlations between morphological and acoustic variation and examine the role of stick-slip friction in the diversification of this system. Through the integration of biomechanical analyses and phylogenetic comparative approaches, these systems offer new insights into the fascinating mechanics of extreme predatory movements and acoustic defenses in the marine environment.