17.4 Wednesday, Jan. 4 Peeping through the keyhole: Endoscopy of a gastropod mantle cavity VOLTZOW, J.; Univ. of Scranton firstname.lastname@example.org
The gastropod mantle cavity serves as the site of gas exchange, waste management, and gamete dispersal. The principle organs of the mantle cavity, the gills or ctenidia, drive the flow of water through the cavity and thus control these exchanges. Because the cavity is housed within the body whorl of the shell, it has been difficult to view the mantle cavity, and especially the gills, under normal functioning conditions. I used a mini boroscope (a type of endoscope) to peer inside the mantle cavities of living individuals of the keyhole limpet Diodora aspera. Video recordings indicate that the gills are inflated and fill the visible volume of the mantle cavity. When disturbed, individual leaflets can contract but quickly recover their original inflated positions. The restricted spacing between leaflets appears to correspond to the minimum space required for ciliary and water movements, maximizing the output of flow through the gill. Flow between the leaflets is extremely laminar; excurrent streams marked with dye maintain their integrity well beyond the apical opening of the shell and away from the mantle cavity.