​Neurobiology of the Anomura: Paguroidea, Galatheoidea and Hippoidea

D. H. Paul

Memoirs of Museum Victoria Vol 60 (1) p. 3–11 (2003)



Anomurans are valuable subjects for neurobiological investigations because of their diverse body forms and behaviours. Comparative analyses of posture and locomotion in members of different families reveal that peripheral differences (in skeleton and musculature) account for much of the behavioural differences between hermit crabs and macrurans (crayfish), squat lobsters and crayfish, hippoid sand crabs and squat lobsters, and albuneid and hippid sand crabs, and that there are correlated differences in the central nervous systems. The order of evolutionary change in discrete neural characters can be reconstructed by mapping them onto a phylogeny obtained from other kinds of data, such as molecular and morphological. Such neural phylogenies provide information about the ways in which neural evolution has operated. They are also useful in developing hypotheses about function of specific neural elements in individual species that would not be forthcoming from research on single species alone. Finally, comparative neurobiological data constitute a largely untapped reservoir of information about anomuran biology and anomuran relationships that, as more becomes available, may be helpful in systematics and phylogenetics.


Paul, D.H., 2003. Neurobiology of the Anomura: Paguroidea, Galatheoidea and Hippoidea. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 60: 3-11. http://doi.org/10.24199/j.mmv.2003.60.2


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