Snails shown to pass along fear of predation to offspring
The Trussell Lab has been studying the “ecology of fear” for some time now, and the extent to which parents pass along their fear of predation to their offspring. Recently graduated PhD Sarah Donelan, now a postdoctoral researcher, recently published research conducted with her advisor, Geoff Trussell, in Ecology. Their work shows that that when snail embryos were exposed to predator cues, offspring whose parents had also been exposed to predator cues emerged larger from development than those of parents that were not exposed to predators. The results highlight the potential for organismal development to be influenced by external variables experienced by previous generations.