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Free Content Studies on the Biology of the West Indian Beach Clam, Donax Denticulatus Linné. 3. Functional Morphology

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The morphology of Donax denticulatus Linné is described and it is shown that the feeding apparatus is well suited for a suspension-feeding habit. The siphons are maintained at the surface of the sand and the inhalant siphon selectively filters incoming water by a complex of sensitive tentacles which line the aperture. The musculature of the inhalant siphon enables the aperture to close completely and the tentacles to curve outward, thus cleansing the surfaces. The labial palps are relatively larger than in other species of Donax and serve primarily for the rejection of excessive particles which enter the mantle cavity. The stomach has sizeable food pouches for storing fine particles of food, but the dorsal appendix is much reduced. The crystalline style is bent within the proximal stomach and has a flexible tongue anteriorly for drawing a string of food into the stomach lumen. There is no trituration between the crystalline style and gastric shield.

The opinion is given that Donax has evolved from a deposit-feeding ancestral tellinacean.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1969-06-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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