Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

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(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: Foraging patterns and prey selection in Leptasterias hexactis
Student Author(s): Peak, Tina
Faculty Advisor(s): Baxter, Chuck
Pages: 29
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1983
Keywords: echinoderms
Abstract: Clay plates with different prey items to select from and different distributions of prey were suspended in a 80 1 tank. The plates were large enough, it was hoped, to represent an area of rock that would normally be occupied by the Leptasterias. The starfish were never handled but could be observed while foraging and selecting prey. A flat sea table was also used and again the animals were observed but not disturbed. It is strongly suspected that prey selection has a component of learning involved in the behavior. The leptasterias also seem to optimize food choices.