Nature Blog Network

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Open University Biology - Suspension Feeding

The other day we featured a really cool video from the 1970's featuring Mel Carriker's work on the radula and the accessory boring organ (ABO) in the oyster drill. Today we have some video from one of his former students* featuring feeding in a different group of molluscs.

iTunes has just added some excellent content to their free iTunesU area - Open University Videos. Included in the initial offering are 5 science "courses", including "The Galapagos" and "Biology: Uniformity and Diversity". "Biology" has 13 short videos (2 - 10 minutes each) covering aspects of biology including fungi, "microbes", spiders, and suspension feeders.

The suspension feeders episode features J. Evan Ward, sitting down to a plate of oysters, mussels, clams, and scallops to introduce how he examines the diversity of feeding mechanisms in suspension feeding bivalves. The great thing is that the Open University video, while probably aimed at high school and early college, is accessible to a wide range of audiences. My family watched them all, and of course my 8 year old's favorite part is the mucous strings on the gill margins. More fun dinner topics!

The Ward lab's video page has more video, including this endoscope video showing the feeding processes of Mytilis sp.:

*Just to be totally up front about it, Evan is also my undergrad adviser and I am currently employed as an intern in his lab, but none of that has diddly to do with why I think the video is cool, or why I am posting it.

1 comment:

  1. Cool. So it is like if we were to eat using our lungs.


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