The rate of burrowing into sand by the bivalve mollusk Venerupis philippinarum was studied under laboratory conditions. It is found that an increase in the intensity of water flow to an average of 1000 ml/min stimulates the burrowing of the mollusk, while higher values suppress burrowing; the threshold values are somewhat different for the young and adult specimens. It is shown that the presence of the starfish Asterias amurensis in the experimental environment decreases the rate of burrowing of V. philippinarum by 10–20% depending upon the sizes of the predator and the potential victim, but the depth of penetration of the mollusks into the sediment increases. It is supposed that in V. philippinarum and other species of bivalve mollusks related to the same life form and characterized by a moderate capability to burrow into the ground, the adaptive strategy of threat avoiding (great wave activity, an approach of a predator) is expressed as burrowing into a depth uncommon for usual situations and waiting. This behavior, to a significant degree, provides the capability of some species to inhabit shallow water areas with poor hydrodynamics inhabited by numerous predators.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 14, 2005
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