filter feeder


Definition of filter feeder

: an animal (such as a clam or baleen whale) that obtains its food by filtering organic matter or minute organisms from a current of water that passes through some part of its system

Examples of filter feeder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Others in the group were filter feeders, and now Cambroraster shows that some scrounged the sea floor like modern-day horseshoe crabs. Joshua Sokol, Science | AAAS, "‘Millennium Falcon’ predator soared across ocean floor at dawn of animal life," 30 July 2019 Oysters, as well as other shellfish like clams, are superefficient filter feeders. Stephanie Cain, Fortune, "Eat Oysters in New York City to Help Clean Up the City’s Waterways," 20 July 2019 The find could explain how other life-forms move and how filter feeders eat. Magnus Wennman, National Geographic, "See our three favorite scientific breakthroughs this month," 17 June 2019 Microplastics have been found in shellfish, left behind after the filter feeders draw in and expel contaminated water. Jack Fisher, The Seattle Times, "Group screens and cleans sand near Oregon’s Haystack Rock," 20 Aug. 2018 What can kill you: Vibrio vulnificus, a naturally-occurring bacteria found in seawater that can infect people who eat filter feeders such as raw oysters. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Summer survival guide: How to stay safe around these NC natural wonders," 25 June 2018 Rather, the broad, bespeckled animal is a filter feeder, harvesting plankton and small fish from the water simply by swimming about with its mouth agape—much like baleen whales. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "What the Longest Known Whale Shark Migration Ever Tells Us About Conservation," 8 May 2018 The debris entangles and kills all sorts of sea animals, including turtles, dolphins, and whales, and breaks down into microscopic particles that are consumed by fish and filter feeders like mussels and oysters. NBC News, "The Pacific Ocean has a plastic problem. Here's the bold plan to fix it," 21 Apr. 2018 Found worldwide, these slow-moving filter feeders pose no threat to humans. Nick Caloyianis, National Geographic, "Swarms of Huge Sharks Discovered, Baffling Experts," 12 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'filter feeder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of filter feeder

1928, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

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The first known use of filter feeder was in 1928

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