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Undergraduate Honors Theses

Zoology

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Physical Modeling Of Vortical Cross-Step Filtration In The Oral Cavity Of American Paddlefish (Polyodon Spathula), Hannah Brooks May 2016

Physical Modeling Of Vortical Cross-Step Filtration In The Oral Cavity Of American Paddlefish (Polyodon Spathula), Hannah Brooks

Undergraduate Honors Theses

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 ...