A northern sea anemone feeding

Ring of tentacles
In order to eat, a northern sea anemone opens wide the ring of white tentacles around its mouth.
Attracting plankton
Its tentacles wave slightly to create a current and attract plankton.
Full tentacles
When the tentacles have trapped enough plankton, they relay it to the anemone’s mouth.
Digestion
Anemones often close up completely when digesting their food.

Biodôme de Montréal

© Biodôme de Montréal, 2005. All rights reserved


A polar seastar feeding

There is a light-sensitive structure on the tip of each of the seastar’s arms. It uses its sense of smell to detect its prey, for instance a mussel or other bivalve mollusc. It covers its prey and grips its shell with the tube feet on the underside of its arms. It pries the shell open and then everts its stomach (turns it inside out) into the mussel’s shell. The seastar secretes gastric juices that liquefy its prey’s tissues so that it can suck them up and digest them.

Biodôme de Montréal

© Biodôme de Montréal, 2005. All rights reserved


A sand dollar feeding

Food from above!
A sand dollar burrows into the sand or mud and lets food drop onto and accumulate on its body.
Spines to carry its food
Its body is covered in small moveable spines that move in a synchronized fashion with its tube feet to direct the food towards its mouth, located in the middle of its underside.

Biodôme de Montréal

© Biodôme de Montréal, 2005. All rights reserved


A sea cucumber feeding

Sticky tentacles
When it wants to eat, a sea cucumber extends its ten feathery tentacles and waits for food to accumulate on them.
Tentacle-licking good!
Then a slow dance starts, with the tentacles taking turns reaching toward its central mouth, which traps the food. It literally “licks” its tentacles.

Biodôme de Montréal

© Biodôme de Montréal, 2005. All rights reserved


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Learn more about the ecosystems in the Americas;
  • Observe the diversity that each ecosystem offers regarding the flora, fauna as well as climate;
  • Identify the elements that shape different ecosystems, such as vegetation, wildlife, soil, etc.;
  • Develop different causes and consequences of human actions on ecosystems (from grade 4);
  • Formulate and justify possible solutions on issues, such as global warming, in order to preserve our ecosystems and biodiversity on Earth (from grade 6).

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