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 The filter feeders have greatly affected the ecology of the lake, and in some spots, they are caked onto shipwrecks and other artifacts, obscuring the details that make the wrecks come alive, Schott said. Caitlin Looby, Journal Sentinel, 2 May 2024 Humpback whales are filter feeders and eat small fish and crustaceans, mostly krill. Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 3 Apr. 2024 Baleen whales—filter feeders that include blue whales, fin whales and humpback whales—make noises via a larynx, or voice box. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Feb. 2024 As previously reported, the largest shark alive today, reaching up to 20 meters long, is the whale shark, a sedate filter feeder. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 22 Jan. 2024 As filter feeders, oysters remove algae and excess nutrients from the water, their beds support a variety of marine life including fish and fellow shellfish. Baltimore Sun Editorial Board, Baltimore Sun, 17 Jan. 2024 What Do Whale Sharks Eat? Whale sharks are filter feeders, primarily dining on plankton, krill, small fish, and occasionally on small squid or crustaceans. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 8 Jan. 2024 As filter feeders, the sharks are known for their massive mouths that can open up to 3 feet wide. Emma Colton, Fox News, 13 Sep. 2023 Despite their massive size, whale sharks are filter feeders, boasting the ability to open their mouths up to five feet wide. Anna Nordseth, Discover Magazine, 1 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'filter feeder.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1928, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of filter feeder was in 1928

Dictionary Entries Near filter feeder

Cite this Entry

“Filter feeder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

filter feeder

: an animal (as a clam or baleen whale) that obtains its food by filtering food particles or tiny living things from water
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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