Feeding Preferences of Echinoids for Plant and Animal Food Models
The echinoids, Echinometra lucunter, Lytechinus variegatus, and Eucidaris tribuloides showed a feeding response for prey models prepared with animal food (the bivalve, Donax variabilis) as great or greater than that for prey models prepared with plant food (the seagrass, Thalassia testudinum). The feeding response of E. tribuloides was significantly greater for animal models as for plant models. The feeding response of L. variegatus was strong and as great for animal models as for plant models. The feeding response of E. lucunter was very weak, but as great for animal as for plant models. These results indicate that although plant foods may be the predominant type of food ingested by echinoids, preference for animal food is high. This cannot be ignored when considering the evolutionary basis for food preference in echinoids.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1982-01-01
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