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How Do Scallops Swim?


Author(s)

Philip J. Stephens
Department of Biology
Villanova University
phil.stephens@villanova.edu

Abstract

Scallops are bivalve mollusks that live on the seabed. This way of life makes them susceptible to predation and so they have evolved the ability to escape by swimming. This interrupted case study is based on a few observations and simple experiments which provide an opportunity in turn for students to develop their own hypotheses and experiments. Students will draw parallels between the vertebrate patella tendon reflex and the system that controls the rhythmic muscle contractions seen during scallop swimming. The case was designed for a one-semester animal physiology course taken by sophomore and junior science majors; it could also be used in a general biology course.


Objectives

  • Describe how sensory feedback can control rhythmic motor output to the striated muscle.
  • Describe the role of the striated adductor muscle in swimming.
  • Describe the role of the smooth adductor muscle in swimming.
  • Construct a hypothesis.
  • Design experiments to test a hypothesis.
  • Analyze and interpret results.

Keywords

Movement; muscle contraction; scallop; mollusk; experimental design; experiment; hypothesis; data analysis

Topical Areas

N/A

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Directed, Discussion, Interrupted

Language

English

Subject Headings

Physiology  |   Biology (General)  |   Neuroscience  |   Zoology  |   Science (General)  |  


Date Posted

6/13/2013

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