22 November 2009

Bipalium adventitium — Part 4

In part 3 of this series, I attempted to feed a slug, Megapallifera mutabilis, to my "pet" planarian Bipalium adventitium. The planarian refused. In the comments, Megan P. suggested that I repeat the experiment with baby slugs. You see, as long as it is in the name of science, we can even feed babies to predators. We are collecting data here.

I thought Megan's idea was worth a try, but I was freshly out of baby slugs. Luckily, Megan had some and was willing to part with a few. So, last Thursday I visited her lab at the University of MD and returned home with 3 juvenile Philomycus carolinianus, another native species in our favorite slug family the Philomycidae. And early this evening, I offered them to El Depredador that had been waiting patiently in the basement.

BipaliumPhilomycus

So far the slugs have survived. But the night is young and there is plenty of time for a surprise pharynx eversion.

To be continued.

6 comments:

Cindy said...

Aww, they look deceptively cute together. Like slimy little bunny rabbit and python friends.

Psi Wavefunction said...

Ok, another thing I've never had a chance to play with -- planaria: where do I find them?

I've always been amazed by the regeneration experiments done on them. Not that I'd do such a thing. Since they're inverts, bioethics reports aren't required, are they? (although a friend of mine had to fill one out for... NEMATODES. WTF!)

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

This is a land planarian. They hide under rocks & logs, but you may have turn over hundreds of them before you can spot one.

As for aquatic planarians, I suppose they can be found in streams & ponds. I don't remember if I have ever found one of those.

Megan said...

I agree with Cindy. : )

I await the results of this experiment with much interest. But just so you know, Aydin, I'm rooting for the babies.

Kazimir Majorinc said...

I do not think you should harm animals because of research. It is not that you test drugs or something.

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

I am not doing anything that doesn't already happen in the wild. Testing of drugs on animals, on the other hand, is not a natural phenomenon.