Burrow and Current Production by the Mantis Shrimp, Squilla empusa

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Burrow and Current Production by the Mantis Shrimp, Squilla empusa

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Title: Burrow and Current Production by the Mantis Shrimp, Squilla empusa
Author: Mead, KS; Minshall, H
Abstract: The mantis shrimp Squilla empusa forms extended burrows in the silty mud. We investigated burrowing in S. empusa in situ using SCUBA, and animals were collected for further laboratory studies. Burrowing in the field was studied primarily by making repeated daily visits to individually marked burrows and recording changes in the number, diameter, and structure of burrow openings. Burrows varied considerably in their length, width, number of openings, and the amount and timing of reconstruction, with some changes occurring on a daily basis. We analyzed burrowing activity by releasing captive animals back into their native habitat and filming the resulting burrow excavation. Animals were also filmed moving sediment in the laboratory. Both in the laboratory and in the field, S. empusa employ two methods of moving sediment: pleopod fanning, which directs stirred-up sediment posteriorly, and carrying sediment forward in a “basket” made of their maxillipeds. The pleopod fanning motion is also instrumental in generating large currents within the burrow once the construction is complete. These currents were studied in detail using field particle image velocimetry. The resulting current profiles make it possible to distinguish between burrows with one opening and burrows with multiple openings.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/10339
Date: 2012

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