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Free Content Feeding Behavior of Tentaculate Predators: In Situ Observations and a Conceptual Model

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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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  • 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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