Free-Floating Mucus Webs: A Novel Feeding Adaptation for the Open Ocean

Science  16 Jun 1972:
Vol. 176, Issue 4040, pp. 1239-1240
DOI: 10.1126/science.176.4040.1239


Observations by means of conventional scuba techniques have revealed that highly modified planktonic gastropods, in the order Thecosomata, utilize a free and unsupported mucus web for collecting food particles. Their delicate bodies, quick reactions, and apparent abundance suggest that traditional plankton-sampling methods may be inadequate to assess their importance in the blue-water plankton communities.