S10-11 Thu Jan 7 18:00 – 18:30 Propulsion and predation in a uniquely shaped oceanic ctenophore Gemmell, BJ*; Hawkins, O; Colin, S; Sutherland, K; Costello, J; University of South Florida; University of South Florida; Roger Williams University ; University of Oregon; Providence College firstname.lastname@example.org
Cestum veneris is a pelagic ctenophore found throughout temperate and tropical oceans. Despite their widespread distribution, we know little about their propulsive capabilities and prey capture mechanisms due to their fragile nature and inability to survive for even modest periods in the laboratory. Cestum spp. have a unique morphology among the Ctenophora, with an elongate, wing-like body shape. Using field-based methods for high speed, brightfield imaging and particle image velocimetry (PIV), we quantify details of the propulsive structures and interactions with prey. We find that these animals continuously cruise through the water at high relative speeds for gelatinous zooplankton (>10 cm s-1). Unique among ctenophores is that all of the propulsive ctenes are located at the distal end of the animal and arranged in two bands that span the entire length. Kinematic details and fluid dynamic data are used to discuss the implications for this mode of propulsion and prey capture in this rarely studied species.