- How Consistent Are Estimates of Roughness Parameters on a Rough Coral Reef? JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS 2021; 126 (12)
Life in the flow: unique adaptations for feeding on drifting zooplankton in garden eels
JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY
2018; 221 (16)
A major challenge faced by sessile animals that feed in the flow is to maintain effective feeding postures while enduring hydrodynamic forces. Garden eels exhibit an exceptional lifestyle: feeding on drifting zooplankton while being 'anchored' in a burrow they dig in the sand. Using underwater observations, sampling and three-dimensional video recording, we measured the feeding rates and characterized feeding postures of garden eels under a wide range of current speeds. We show that the eels behaviorally resolve the trade-off between adverse biomechanical forces and beneficial fluxes of food by modulating their body postures according to current speeds. In doing so, the eels substantially reduce drag forces when currents are strong, yet keep their head well above bottom in order to effectively feed under conditions of high prey fluxes. These abilities have allowed garden eels to become one of the rare oceanic fishes that live in sandy, predation-rich habitats and feed on zooplankton while being attached to the bottom.
View details for DOI 10.1242/jeb.179523
View details for Web of Science ID 000443492700012
View details for PubMedID 29986872