|Feeding, growth, & regeneration|
|Ingestive conditioning is considered here, while LARVAL FEEDING, ADULT FEEDING, PREY RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS ON FEEDING, and GROWTH & REGENERATION are considered in other sections.|
Research study 1
In tests of ingestive conditioning in sea stars, Pisaster spp. fed only on Tegula for 3mo show a greater preference for these snails when presented later in cafeteria-style tests along with chitons and mussels. When mussels are presented with other prey species to P. giganteus and P. ochraceus, the proportion of mussels ingested increases over time. Note in the graphs that while both species are consuming 100% mussels by the end of 5wk, the learning curve for P. giganteus is much steeper than that for P. ochraceus. This may be explained by the latter species having had more recent experience eating mussels in the field prior to being brought into the laboratory.
NOTE in humans and other vertebrates, ingestive conditioning results from feedback signals being generated from a meal, and leads to that food type being either sought out or avoided for later meals. On the positive side such signals could include a satisfying fullness, extra energy, feeling of well-being, and so on, while on the negative side they could include feelings of nausea, bloatedness, continued hunger, and the like. Sensory input used by vertebrates to identify favoured foodstuffs include vision, smell, and taste. Vertebrates develop search images for foodstuffs, such that other equally good foods may be bypassed in the search for foods that have the most recent familiarity. Invertebrates such as sea stars also develop search "images" for favoured foods such as mussels, but use chemotactile ("taste"/touch) cues. This topic is considered in more detail elsewhere in the ODYSSEY: LEARN ABOUT NUDIBRANCHS & RELATIVES: FOODS & FEEDING: INGESTIVE CONDITIONING
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