Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies

Image: Ripples on water

SF State's bayside marine and estuarine research facility.

Rosenberg Institute Discovery Day Open House at the Romberg Tiburon Center

2017 Discovery Day

Data Collection Results

  • How do small fish get their food?

Many larval fish use suction feeding to capture their prey. Sixty seven visiting scientists (observers) used a plastic pipet to simulate a larval fish mouth, and suction feeding, in an attempt to capture a single copepod (prey). After 67 trials, they determined that it took a mean of 3 strikes (± 3 strikes, standard deviation) to capture one copepod. These values ranged from 1 to 19. Their results indicate that larval fish often have to strike multiple times before capturing their prey, and copepod capture success rate varies by individual. This success also depends on the copepod's behavior and its escape response. Larval fish must quickly learn to capture prey during this very critical early life stage; their survival depends on obtaining sufficient nutrition.




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