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Leptocephalus? From Turkey

leptocephalus eel larva larval eel eel larva

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#1 Nick Hope

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:08 AM

Shot by Lutfu Tanrıover in the Turkish Aegean sea. I think this is a leptocephalus, the larva of an eel. Does anyone agree or disagree? You sort of get a view of the head at 2:22. Doesn't look like a moray larva though. Any idea of species?



#2 Leslie

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:34 AM

Nope. It's a Venus's girdle, Cestum veneris, a flattened ctenophore. The vertical band in the middle holds the mouth, stomach, & other organs.

#3 Nick Hope

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:30 AM

Thanks Leslie. There's such a similarity with a leptocephalus that it makes me wonder if there's some mimicry at play.

#4 Leslie

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:28 AM

I doubt it. Besides, that a term I've never liked when applied to inverts. It really suggests that one species is actively copying the other which isn't the case. The exception might be octopuses, but I've always wondered if mimic octopuses raised in isolation from the animals they're supposed to be imitating would still assume the same shapes. I bet they would and that it's hard-wired into them.

#5 Nick Hope

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:03 PM

I bet they would too.

Why do you dislike the term "mimicry"? It doesn't have to imply a conscious intention on behalf of the mimc. There are many cases of Batesian or Müllerian mimicry in invertebrates where no conscious intention is involved. For example, a juvenile Pearsonothuria graeffei and a Phyllidia varicosa. Or some juvenile flounders cf. flatworms.

#6 Leslie

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:02 AM

Because most people do assume that somehow there is a link between animals that look similar. When they hear "mimic" they think of a human impersonating another, a parrot repeating words, etc.





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