Suspension feeding in Copepoda (Crustacea) – introducing the first numerical model of setae action in concert

Submitting author affiliation:
Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Beilstein Arch. 2023, 20237.

Published 03 Mar 2023

This preprint has not been peer-reviewed. When a peer-reviewed version is available, this information will be updated.


Suspension feeding by particle collecting setae is common within Crustacea. Even though the mechanisms behind it and the structures themselves were studied for decades, the interplay between the different setae types and the parameters contributing to their particle collecting capacities remain enigmatic. Here, we provide a numerical model approach to understand the relationship between mechanical property gradients, mechanical behaviour, adhesion of the setae and the feeding efficiency performed by the system. We constructed the first simple dynamic numerical model, which interacts with the food particles and delivers them into the mouth opening. By altering the parameters, it was unraveled that the system performs best, if the long and short setae have different mechanical behaviour and different degrees of adhesion, since the long setae generate the feeding current and the short ones establish the contact with the particle. This protocol can be applied to any system in the future, as the parameters (properties of particles and setae, arrangement, etc.) can be easily altered. This will shed light on the biomechanical adaptations of this feeding structure to suspension feeding and provide inspiration for biomimetics in the field of filtration technologies.

Keywords: Feeding structure; CLSM; mechanical properties; feeding efficiency; adhesion

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When a peer-reviewed version of this preprint is available, this information will be updated in the information box above. If no peer-reviewed version is available, please cite this preprint using the following information:

Filippov, A. E.; Krings, W.; Gorb, S. N. Beilstein Arch. 2023, 20237. doi:10.3762/bxiv.2023.7.v1

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