Social feeding behavior of Trichoplax adhaerens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Animals have evolved different foraging strategies in which some animals forage independently and others forage in groups. The evolution of social feeding does not necessarily require cooperation, social feeding can be a beneficial individual-level strategy if it provides mutualistic benefits, for example though increasing the efficiency of resource extraction or processing. We found that Trichoplax adhaerens, the simplest multicellular animal ever described, engages in social feeding behavior. T. adhaerens lacks muscle tissue, nervous and digestive systems-yet is capable of aggregating and forming groups of closely connected individuals who collectively feed. The tight physical interactions between the animals are transitory and appear to serve the goal of staying connected to neighbors during the external digestion of algae when enzymes are released on the biofilm and nutrients are absorbed through the ventral epithelium. We found that T. adhaerens are more likely to engage in social feeding when the concentrations of algae are high-both in a semi-natural conditions and in vitro. It is surprising that T. adhaerens-an organism without a nervous system-is able to engage in this social feeding behavior. Whether this behavior is cooperative is still an open question. Nevertheless, the social feeding behavior of T. adhaerens, an early multicellular animal, suggests that sociality may have played an important role in the early evolution of animals. It also suggests that T. adhaerens could be used as a simple model organism for exploring questions regarding ecology and sociobiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Volume7
Issue numberFEB
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

social behavior
feeding behavior
algae
animal
animals
nervous system
forage
alga
sociobiology
cooperative behavior
digestive system
organisms
muscle tissues
biofilm
cooperatives
Trichoplax adhaerens
digestion
muscle
epithelium
foraging

Keywords

  • Early social behavior
  • Placozoa
  • Social behavior
  • Social feeding
  • Trichoplax adhaerens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Social feeding behavior of Trichoplax adhaerens. / Fortunato, Angelo; Aktipis, C Athena.

In: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 7, No. FEB, 19, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{41c6b3072deb4088a4f5a9dbabb9e403,
title = "Social feeding behavior of Trichoplax adhaerens",
abstract = "Animals have evolved different foraging strategies in which some animals forage independently and others forage in groups. The evolution of social feeding does not necessarily require cooperation, social feeding can be a beneficial individual-level strategy if it provides mutualistic benefits, for example though increasing the efficiency of resource extraction or processing. We found that Trichoplax adhaerens, the simplest multicellular animal ever described, engages in social feeding behavior. T. adhaerens lacks muscle tissue, nervous and digestive systems-yet is capable of aggregating and forming groups of closely connected individuals who collectively feed. The tight physical interactions between the animals are transitory and appear to serve the goal of staying connected to neighbors during the external digestion of algae when enzymes are released on the biofilm and nutrients are absorbed through the ventral epithelium. We found that T. adhaerens are more likely to engage in social feeding when the concentrations of algae are high-both in a semi-natural conditions and in vitro. It is surprising that T. adhaerens-an organism without a nervous system-is able to engage in this social feeding behavior. Whether this behavior is cooperative is still an open question. Nevertheless, the social feeding behavior of T. adhaerens, an early multicellular animal, suggests that sociality may have played an important role in the early evolution of animals. It also suggests that T. adhaerens could be used as a simple model organism for exploring questions regarding ecology and sociobiology.",
keywords = "Early social behavior, Placozoa, Social behavior, Social feeding, Trichoplax adhaerens",
author = "Angelo Fortunato and Aktipis, {C Athena}",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.3389/fevo.2019.00019",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "7",
journal = "Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution",
issn = "2296-701X",
publisher = "Frontiers Media S. A.",
number = "FEB",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Social feeding behavior of Trichoplax adhaerens

AU - Fortunato, Angelo

AU - Aktipis, C Athena

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Animals have evolved different foraging strategies in which some animals forage independently and others forage in groups. The evolution of social feeding does not necessarily require cooperation, social feeding can be a beneficial individual-level strategy if it provides mutualistic benefits, for example though increasing the efficiency of resource extraction or processing. We found that Trichoplax adhaerens, the simplest multicellular animal ever described, engages in social feeding behavior. T. adhaerens lacks muscle tissue, nervous and digestive systems-yet is capable of aggregating and forming groups of closely connected individuals who collectively feed. The tight physical interactions between the animals are transitory and appear to serve the goal of staying connected to neighbors during the external digestion of algae when enzymes are released on the biofilm and nutrients are absorbed through the ventral epithelium. We found that T. adhaerens are more likely to engage in social feeding when the concentrations of algae are high-both in a semi-natural conditions and in vitro. It is surprising that T. adhaerens-an organism without a nervous system-is able to engage in this social feeding behavior. Whether this behavior is cooperative is still an open question. Nevertheless, the social feeding behavior of T. adhaerens, an early multicellular animal, suggests that sociality may have played an important role in the early evolution of animals. It also suggests that T. adhaerens could be used as a simple model organism for exploring questions regarding ecology and sociobiology.

AB - Animals have evolved different foraging strategies in which some animals forage independently and others forage in groups. The evolution of social feeding does not necessarily require cooperation, social feeding can be a beneficial individual-level strategy if it provides mutualistic benefits, for example though increasing the efficiency of resource extraction or processing. We found that Trichoplax adhaerens, the simplest multicellular animal ever described, engages in social feeding behavior. T. adhaerens lacks muscle tissue, nervous and digestive systems-yet is capable of aggregating and forming groups of closely connected individuals who collectively feed. The tight physical interactions between the animals are transitory and appear to serve the goal of staying connected to neighbors during the external digestion of algae when enzymes are released on the biofilm and nutrients are absorbed through the ventral epithelium. We found that T. adhaerens are more likely to engage in social feeding when the concentrations of algae are high-both in a semi-natural conditions and in vitro. It is surprising that T. adhaerens-an organism without a nervous system-is able to engage in this social feeding behavior. Whether this behavior is cooperative is still an open question. Nevertheless, the social feeding behavior of T. adhaerens, an early multicellular animal, suggests that sociality may have played an important role in the early evolution of animals. It also suggests that T. adhaerens could be used as a simple model organism for exploring questions regarding ecology and sociobiology.

KW - Early social behavior

KW - Placozoa

KW - Social behavior

KW - Social feeding

KW - Trichoplax adhaerens

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85068437671&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85068437671&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3389/fevo.2019.00019

DO - 10.3389/fevo.2019.00019

M3 - Article

VL - 7

JO - Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution

JF - Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution

SN - 2296-701X

IS - FEB

M1 - 19

ER -