Filtering by Baleen

Project Leader - Cecilia Sydor Estable - August 2008

Flow tank set-up. Red arrow=where rice grains were released; red square = baleen suspension apparatus; green arrow= where dip net was inserted to collect rice grains that would fall through the baleen once the flow had ceased; C=baffling attached to square funnel; D=baffling on floor of tank used to collect rice grains that had filtered through baleen; E=baleen attached to opposite side of tank used to collect rice grains that had filtered through baleen   flowtank.jpg Photo: Cecelia Sydor Estable Abstract The effect of a high and low water flow rate on the filtering efficiency of a baleen filter was tested using the baleen plates of Megaptera novaeanglia. It was predicted that the low flow rate would have an increased filtering efficiency, and a high flow rate would have a decreased filtering efficiency. These predictions arose from the hypothesis that baleen whales use a lower flow rate for feeding, and would thus retain more food particles; and a high flow rate for cleaning, and would want to expel more food particles. The data was analyzed using a repeated measures ANOVA. There was no significant correlation found between flow rate and filtering efficiency, but this was most likely due to the small trial size used, which was 5 trials per treatment. baleenresults08.jpg The mean mass of the rice caught at low flow (9.2 g   + 5.21) is higher than the mean weight of the rice caught at high flow (6.98 g +1.29). The mean weight of the rice escaped at low flow (2.02 g + 2.41) is lower than the mean weight of the rice escaped at high flow (6.44 g + 3.79) Figure: Cecilia Sydor Estable Future Plans - Guelph University
Cecilia Sydor Estable
page last updated 1 July 2013

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