Agile Producers and Consumers
you see in this panorama is the large numbers of mud snail that come out
at low tide to feed on dead plants and animals. Periwinkle snails migrate
up and down the stalks of sea oats all day long in harmony with the incoming
and outgoing tides. They each have an important role in cleaning filtering,
and replenishing the waters of the sound. How are they similar or different
from the snails around you?
(bottom-dwelling) organisms live in the sediment and are called infauna,
some are affixed to the surface of the sediment and are referred to as epibenthos,
and some move around on the surface of the sediments and are called mobile
epibenthos. Benthic animals display a variety of feeding mechanisms. They
can for example ingest sediments (worms), filter food from the water column
(clams), feed upon other live organisms (predatory snails), and scavenge
upon dead animal remains (crabs).