Feeding Behavior of Tentaculate Predators: In Situ Observations and a Conceptual Model
The recent focus on behavior of individual zooplankters has led to several models describing predatory encounters; in this paper a general model is extended to gelatinous zooplankton that catch prey with tentacles. Because of their large size and fragility, these organisms are best observed in situ by divers. Observations on the feeding behavior of several medusae, siphonophores, and ctenophores are reported, along with information on diet composition and measurements oftentacle size, spacing, and deployment pattern made from photographs or videotapes. From these data two additional parameters affecting the probability of prey capture can be estimated. The “encounter zone” is the space around the predator in which the tentacles may be found, and the “tentacle density” is the fraction of that space actually filled with tentacles. These spatial parameters, and others relating to predator size, prey swimming speed and pattern, prey size and type, and nematocyst characteristics are incorporated into a conceptual model of prey selection and capture by tentaculate feeders.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1988-11-01
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