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Copepod Metridia Feeding Habits Discovered

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
27 July 2011, at 1:00am

DENMARK - Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark have discovered a way to observe the feeding habits of the copepod Metridia.

For years, the copepod Metridia has managed to remain hidden from science.

However, this spring, during fieldwork at the Arctic Station, for the very first time researchers succeeded in filming how this constantly feeding little crayfish catches its prey.

The task of filming Metridia is now continuing in the laboratory at DTU Aqua.

Using a camera, a laser and a powerful computer, Sanne and her supervisor, Professor Thomas Kirboe, can measure the water currents of the food-seeking copepod, and based on that calculate, for example, how the copepods get the food into their mouths, and how this affects the water around them during feeding.

This is significant for establishing how easily the copepods themselves are found and eaten by, for example, fish larvae.

Some of Sanne Kjellerups colleagues are carrying out complementary studies, including DTU Aqua graduate student Magnus Bohr, who, by means of so-called "grazing experiments", is conducting some comparative studies, never before carried out, to find out, simultaneously, which planktonic algae the three known Calanus copepods as well as the enigmatic Metridia prefer to feed on.

Further Reading

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