When confronted with threatening stimuli and predators, the crayfish responds with an innate escape machanism called the startle reflex. Also known as tailflipping, this stereotyped behaviour involves rapid flexions of the abdominal muscles which produce powerful swimming strokes that thrust the small crustacean through the water and away from danger. In the struggle for existence, the speed of this response response can mean the difference between life and death, and the crayfish has evolved an incredibly fast escape mechanism which can be initiated within well under one-hundredth of a second.
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