Navigation Links
Oh, the places you'll go -- if you're an Atlantic slipper shell
Date:12/19/2013

Walk the beach or peer into a tidepool anywhere along the northeastern U.S. coast, and you'll find shells stacked on top of one another. They're most likely common Atlantic slipper shells, a species of marine snail.

Scientists took a closer look at these ubiquitous snails, and discovered that how their larvae swim is key to the species' seeming residence in every nook and cranny along the coast. And to how the snails may be able to invade new territory.

Equipped with high-speed, high-resolution video, the researchers discovered how the larvae of these marine snails swim, a behavior that determines individual dispersal and ultimately, survival.

Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Stony Brook University grew Atlantic slipper limpet larvae, which can become slightly larger than a grain of rice, and recorded videos of them swimming.

In previous studies, it was thought that the larvae swim faster when they beat their hair-like cilia faster. However, this new research shows that's not the case.

"I was very surprised when I saw that there was no relationship between cilia beat frequency and how fast these animals swim," says Karen Chan, a WHOI scientist and the lead author of a paper published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

The larvae control how fast they swim by subtly shifting the position of their velar lobes--flat, disc-shaped wings fringed with cilia.

The ability to make small movements with these velar lobes, akin to how a bird adjusts the angle of its wings while soaring, demonstrates complex neuromuscular control.

"This careful study tells us a lot about how organisms interact with the marine environment, knowledge we need in a time of environmental change," says David Garrison, program director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences, which funded the research.

The Atlantic slipper shell is a marine snail native to the northeastern United States. It has become an invasive species elsewhere in the world, especially in Europe.

The slipper shell has many common names, including Atlantic slippersnail, boat shell and quarterdeck shell. It is known in the United Kingdom as the common slipper limpet. The species is a medium-sized sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Calyptraeidae, the slipper snails and the cup-and-saucer snails.

Paper co-author Dianna Padilla of Stony Brook University collected the snails from the North Shore of Long Island, N.Y. She grew the larvae in her lab, which were then sent to WHOI for video analysis.

Houshuo Jiang, a scientist at WHOI and collaborator on the project, says the goal is to understand the limpet's role in shaping the marine ecosystem.

With support from NSF, Jiang built a customized, vertically-oriented optical system that can magnify and record high-speed, high-resolution video of microorganisms swimming in seawater at 2,000 frames per second.

"Much more can be observed in great detail using this setup than looking through a microscope," Jiang says.

Jiang found that in a single day, slipper shell larvae could vary their speed from swimming one body length per second to four body lengths per second.

"What this means is they have a lot of control over how fast they swim," Chan says. How they swim can determine where they go.

And where they might turn up next.

"These results show the flexibility these little animals have," says Padilla, "which is likely what makes them so successful in their environment."


'/>"/>

Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-7734
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. The saline hiding places for bacteria in Río Tinto could be like those on Mars
2. Clues to heart disease in unexpected places, Temple researchers discover
3. Hear where you are: How sound not only informs, but places us
4. Thousands of new particles in workplaces despite large knowledge gap
5. Mid-Atlantic suburbs can expect an early spring thanks to the heat of the big city
6. Impaired recovery of Atlantic cod -- forage fish or other factors?
7. Movement patterns of endangered turtle vary from Pacific to Atlantic
8. Track Atlantic bluefin tuna to learn migration, habitat secrets
9. Eddies, not sunlight, spur annual bloom of tiny plants in North Atlantic
10. Scientists discover new trigger for immense North Atlantic plankton bloom
11. NOAA plankton surveys, second longest in the North Atlantic, add to new global effort
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Oh, the places you'll go -- if you're an Atlantic slipper shell
(Date:4/26/2016)... DUBLIN , April 27, 2016 ... of the  "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report ... ) , The analysts forecast ... a CAGR of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... a number of sectors such as the healthcare, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... , April 14, 2016 ... Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of Eyal ... new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at ... heels of the deployment of its platform at several ... biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook ... Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their official ... Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic ... with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a ... $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank ... automation and to advance its drug development efforts, as ... facility. "SVB has been an incredible strategic ... services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced ... of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials ... dose studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, ... in healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects ... single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only ... Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June ... scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: