Marine Biology

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 89–97 | Cite as

Prey capture by Pisaster brevispinus (Asteroidea: Echinodermata) on soft substrate

  • H. D. Van Veldhuizen
  • D. W. Phillips
Article

Abstract

Observations on the subtidal seastar Pisaster brevispinus (Stimpson) indicate that this predator can extend the central tube feet into sand-mud substrate for a distance roughly equal to the radius of the seastar. Field and laboratory evidence demonstrates the use of the elongated tube feet by the asteroid for the capture of burrowed prey items. A relationship between predator size and the size of juveniles of the deep-burrowing clam Tresus nuttallii taken as prey is a product of the ability of larger seastars to extend the tube feet further into the substrate and capture deeper prey. The role of P. brevispinus as an important subtidal predator along the Pacific Coast of North America is discussed.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. D. Van Veldhuizen
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. W. Phillips
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.The Bodega Marine LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBodega BayUSA

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