Supplementary material from "Suspension feeders—diversity, principles of particle separation and biomimetic potential"

Posted on 13.01.2022 - 06:34
Suspension feeders (SFs) evolved a high diversity of mechanisms, sometimes with remarkably convergent morphologies, to retain plankton, detritus and man-made particles with particle sizes ranging from less than 1 µm to several centimetres. Based on an extensive literature review, also including the physical and technical principles of solid–liquid separation, we developed a set of 18 ecological and technical parameters to review 35 taxa of suspension-feeding Metazoa covering the diversity of morphological and functional principles. This includes passive SFs, such as gorgonians or crinoids that use the ambient flow to encounter particles, and sponges, bivalves or baleen whales, which actively create a feeding current. Separation media can be flat or funnel-shaped, build externally such as the filter houses in larvaceans, or internally, like the pleated gills in bivalves. Most SFs feed in the intermediate flow region of Reynolds number 1–50 and have cleaning mechanisms that allow for continuous feeding. Comparison of structure–function patterns in SFs to current filtration technologies highlights potential solutions to common technical design challenges, such as mucus nets which increase particle adhesion in ascidians, vanes which reduce pressure losses in whale sharks and changing mesh sizes in the flamingo beak which allow quick adaptation to particle sizes.

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Hamann, Leandra; Blanke, Alexander (2022): Supplementary material from "Suspension feeders—diversity, principles of particle separation and biomimetic potential". The Royal Society. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5774310.v2
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