Behind the scenes

Observing the feeding currents of larvaceans


A Bathochordaeus stygius larvacean “house” illuminated by DeepPIV’s red laser. Kakani Katija (c) 2015 MBARI

July 31, 2015

On July 27, Kakani Katija and collaborators Alana Sherman, Dale Graves, Chad Kecy, and Bruce Robison tested DeepPIV (particle image velocimetry) using MBARI’s MiniROV. The DeepPIV instrument consists of a laser and optics that can illuminate “slices” through transparent animals (such as larvaceans) using a single plane of light. By analyzing video from the MiniROV’s high-definition science camera, Kakani hopes to quantify the flow of water in and around larvaceans’ bodies, and to discover new details about the gelatinous structures that larvaceans use to filter particles from the water around them.