Filter Feeder

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filter feeder

[′fil·tər ‚fēd·ər]
(invertebrate zoology)
A microphagous organism that uses complex filtering mechanisms to trap particles suspended in water.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Filter Feeder


an aquatic animal that feeds on minute planktonic organisms or suspended particles, which it filters from the water. Active filter feeders, including many crustaceans, tunicates, and whalebone whales, draw water through external or internal filtration organs by moving their cilia or extremities or contracting their muscles. Passive filter feeders make use of water currents. For example, sea lillies have branches with numerous feathery outgrowths, which they spread in the direction of the current, creating a complex, immobile filtration network. Filter feeders often combine suspension feeding with deposit feeding. Filter feeders include many marine and freshwater species. Some species, for example, marine mussels, play an important role in purifying sea water of slime in coastal regions.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Filter feeding in Late Jurassic pterosaurs supported by coprolite contents.
Giant clams are autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms, in contrast to several marine bivalves that have filter feeding as their sole energy source.
Jorgensen, Bivalve Filter Feeding: Hydrodynamics, Bioenergetics, Physiology and Ecology, Olsen & Olsen, Fredensborg, Denmark, 1990.
The other aspect of menhaden not covered in the excellent article is its unique ability to clean up harbors and estuaries by virtue of its filter feeding. Conservation groups not directly involved with fishing are taking an interest in the plight of this poor fish.
Officially named Siphusauctum gregarium, fossils reveal a tulip-shaped creature that is about the length of a dinner knife (approximately 20 centimeters) and has a unique filter feeding system.
The fish fossils also prove that filter feeding emerged long before the first whales.
"The analysis presented indicates that, in the wake of possible climate changes and consequent negative impacts on wild fish populations that cater to the reduction industries, the way forward is to make a concerted effort to increase and further develop omnivorous and filter feeding finfish aquaculture in the tropics and subtropics", argued the FAO experts.
"The minke whale is the smallest of the filter feeding whales that we often see in the UK.
Filter feeding shellfish such as cockles, mussels and oysters feed on microscopic algae that grow in the sea.
Last night a spokesman for the Environmental Health department said: "Paralytic and diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins are produced by algae and taken up into the food chain by filter feeding bivalve molluscs.
DA can affect many different species, most often by the contamination of shellfish beds and planktivorous fish via filter feeding. Subsequent consumption by other organisms can lead to accumulation of DA in higher trophic levels, including avian, marine mammal, and human populations (Gulland et al.
The study revealed a rich community of more than 370 types of sponge and other filter feeding organisms, many are likely to be new species.