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Planktivory. Suspension feeders: Animals that process large quantities of water through a feeding apparatus (gill rakers, baleen). Gill rakers trap particles.

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Presentation on theme: "Planktivory. Suspension feeders: Animals that process large quantities of water through a feeding apparatus (gill rakers, baleen). Gill rakers trap particles."— Presentation transcript:

1 Planktivory

2 Suspension feeders: Animals that process large quantities of water through a feeding apparatus (gill rakers, baleen). Gill rakers trap particles such as zooplankton, phytoplankton and detritus.


4 Includes: manta rays, basking shark, whale shark, megamouth, paddlefish, gizzard shad, menhaden, and bighead carp.

5 Feeding strategies: A) Obligate and faculative planktivores: Most fish are planktivorous at some point in their life, either as holoplankton or meroplankton. Facultative planktivores: (ex. sunfishes) are opportunistic feeders. Prey selection depends on food availability Obligate planktivores: (ex. blueblack herring, Atlantic Menhaden) feed exclusively on plankton

6 B) Ram feeding and suction feeding Ram feeding: creates a forward motion in which water is delivered into the mouth; opens mouth wide as possible and rams prey continuous ram feeders intermittent ram feeders Suction feeding: predator remains relatively stationary, comes close to prey and then sucks prey in. continuous suction feeders intermittent suction feeders Suction feederNonsuction feeder

7 Jaw Protrusion Sling-jaw wrasse

8 Ram Feeders Continuous Intermittent

9 Continuous ram feeders (tow-net)- water passes continuously through mouth, over gills and exits through gill slits or operculum. ~20 species fish In fish: extensive elaboration of the branchial (gill) apparatus

10 Manta Ray: They have no teeth. Cephalic flaps channel water containing plankton into mouth To prevent gills from clogging, a screen of small tiny protuberances located in the throat, hold the food until it can be swallowed.

11 Megamouth, Basking Shark and Whale Shark- Generally these planktivorous sharks have tiny numerous teeth and elongated gill rakers. The gill rakers help to strain plankton.

12 Basking shark- (10 meters long) Swims about 2 knots with mouth open and bristle-like gill rakers erect while filtering particulate matter It then closes its’ mouth forcing water over the gills; it is an indiscriminate planktivore Has five pairs of gill slits and can filters ~540 liters zooplankton/day and over 1500 gallons of water/ hour (1850 m 3 water/hour) Basking sharks caught between Oct. And Dec., no visible gill rakers were found, but had immature or functionless, incompletely developed rakers (possibly has a resting, non feeding stage). Re-grows gill rakers by February.

13 Paddlefish- Order Acipenseriformes freshwater, rarely brackish; found in China and the US gill rakers are long and in the hundreds- used for plankton feeding, minute teeth are present Polyodon spathula (US- Mississippi drainage)- plankton- feeding; non protrusible mouth Psephurus gladius (China- Yangtze River)- piscivorous with a protrusible mouth

14 Continuous ram feeding

15 Intermittent ram feeders takes one gulp of water at a time, extracts particles and repeats the process In using this method, the predator needs to be able to grab prey before it moves out of the way. Seen in whales, not sure about in fish????

16 Suction Feeders Continuous Intermittent

17 Continuous suction feeders (pump filter feeders)- creates and osculatory pump and draws water in over sieving device. Animal remains still while suctioning. Ammocetes (lamprey larvae)-spends 3-7 years filter feeding and burrows into sand; Feeding: a current of water is drawn in by muscular action water enters buccal cavity and washes over gills uses gills to filter particles for food in ammocetes, filtering linked to breathing.

18 Intermittent suction feeders (intermediate feeding): relatively unspecialized intermediate condition between ram and suction feeding on individual prey they don’t alter their swimming speed or direction to focus attention on individual plankton.

19 Diurnal and Nocturnal Planktivores

20 Typically feed by forming aggregations in the water column prey- swimming crustacea, larvaceans and fish eggs largely transparent except for some pigments on eyes or gut and usually small size (< 3mm in size) Planktivore: find modifications to jaw, head and dentition: usually small mouth, reduced or absent teeth jaw protrusion mainly functions to produce suction In Chromis viridis- uses ram-jaw, low suction to capture evasive prey, but decrease jaw protrusion and increase suction when prey are less evasive Diurnal Planktivores

21 adaptations - streamlining and deeply forked caudal fins; aggregation ecology-feed along the reef edge mainly on transient zooplankton from open water; the fish depend on water currents to supply them with food; may feed in stationary aggregations Diurnal Planktivory

22 Crepuscular changeover- diurnal fish leave typically in order of: small fish first….mid sized …. then large Very active time. In nocturnal species- fish enter waters above the reef at night fall by size order (small to larger)

23 Difficulty in visually locating prey in dim light adaptation- large eyes ex. squirrel fish Feed on larger zooplankton: Hobson & Chess found that even the smallest nocturnal reef planktivores are limited to zooplankters larger than 1 mm; whereas diurnal planktivores with similar feeding structures have been found to feed primarily on organisms smaller than 1 mm. Possibly due to: 1.) inability to see smaller ones 2.) more efficient 3.) prey more vulnerable Nocturnal Planktivores

24 Adaptations to nocturnal threats from predators: streamlined bodies and deeply forked tails are less developed- possibly due to less threat to attack after dark less aggregation occurs at night countershading using luminescent organs Nocturnal planktivores more widespread throughout reef than diurnal counterparts ctenophore

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