Date Thesis Awarded

5-2016

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Biology

Advisor

S. Laurie Sanderson

Committee Member

Paul D. Heideman

Committee Member

William Buchser

Committee Member

James E. Perry

Abstract

This thesis explores the filter-feeding mechanisms of the American paddlefish, Polyodon spathula. The data indicate that paddlefish use a filtration method termed cross-step filtration, which utilizes vortices formed behind the branchial arches by the incoming water flow. Videos of these vortices were obtained and quantified for the first time inside the oral cavities of preserved paddlefish. Since the paddlefish can move the branchial arches within the oral cavity, the effects of changing branchial arch angle on vortex characteristics were studied in 3D models. The vortices in three models with different arch angles were quantified. The data demonstrated that a change in arch angle affects vortex characteristics in the 3D models. Therefore, paddlefish could be changing the angles of their branchial arches to influence the flow within their oral cavities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Available for download on Saturday, May 11, 2019

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