February 12, 2002
From: Jeanette McInnes
Dear Dr Rudman,
Thank you for the information on nudibranch sleeping habits. I'll look much more closely on night dives from now on!
Considering their acute sense of smell & abrasive nature of their radula, do nudibranchs have taste buds or a sort of sense of taste or do they let their rhinophores do all the work of finding food & partners? On the same general topic, can nudibranchs hear or sense vibration like snakes?
All the best,
email@example.comMcInnes, J., 2002 (Feb 12) Do nudibranchs taste?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/6157
There has been a lot of work done on the nervous system of Sea Hares and some on pleurobranchs, but not too much on nudibranchs. All these animals have specialised areas such as the rhinophores and oral tentacles which can sense chemicals (ie: 'taste' possible food items), but I don't know of any taste organs within the mouth. I guess the difference between 'us' and 'them' is that we test potential food items by looking and smelling and then putting them in our mouths to taste them, whereas opisthobranchs have a reflex feeding action which is triggered after the food has been tested (tasted) externally.
Concerning vibrations. I am sure all animals can sense vibrations. If you tap the side of a tank, nudibranchs will retract their gills and rhinophores, a sure sign they have felt or 'heard' something.
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