Feeding mechanisms (invertebrate)
Dales, R. Phillips Department of Zoology, Bedford College, London, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:August 2015
- Suspension feeders
- Deposit feeders
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The mechanisms by which an invertebrate obtains and utilizes food materials. The feeding methods of invertebrates are as diverse as the invertebrates themselves, which are adapted to all kinds of habitats, in freshwater, in the sea, and on land. The feeding mechanisms are best classified by the method used: browsing, suspension feeding, deposit feeding, carnivorous, and phytophagous (plant-eating). An alternative classification often adopted, but perhaps less satisfactory, may be based on the size of particles ingested. Thus, the same invertebrate may be described either as microphagous (feeding on minute organisms) or as dependent on substances in solution. Both classification schemes may be further subdivided. Carnivorous feeders, for example, include predators and animal parasites; both share dependence on other (living) animals as a food source. Some methods will be restricted to particular habitats. Suspension feeders, for example, can only be aquatic, while the phytophagous habit may be found wherever edible plants occur. The feeding mechanisms employed will depend, at least partly, on the habit and habitat of the plants utilized.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information