Visualization System for Burrowing Organisms in Granular Substrates
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This fluid dynamics video demonstrates the capabilities of an experimental setup to visualize organisms burrowing in granular substrates. The setup consists of a tank filled with 1mm soda-lime glass beads, backlit by halogen lights. The walls can be moved such that the space bound by them can expand or contract to fit various organisms. A recirculation system oxygenates and cools the salt water that flows through the substrate. The video shows the burrowing behavior of a razor clam (Ensis directus) and a quahog (Mercenaria mercenaria). Both animals inflate their foot with blood, making the foot a terminal anchor against which they pull their shell downwards. Deformation of the granular substrate can be seen around the animals as they advance downwards.
fluidize, burrow, bivalve, clam, visualize