Title

The Stiffness Of Capillary Setae: A Comparison Among Sedentariate Polychaetes

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1-1991

Published In

Ophelia

Abstract

The flexural stiffness of the capillary setae of 12 species of sedentariate polychaete annelids (6 orders, 10 families) was measured and found to vary over eight orders of magnitude. The pattern of variation is not taxonomically conservative, and enormous extremes in flexural stiffness can be found within a single setal type among species. In addition, the flexural stiffness of a given setal type can vary over three orders of magnitude within a single individual as a function of position on the body. Differences in setal width and length cannot account for this range of stiffness values. Some of the variation must be due to differences in the material properties or the internal geometry of the setae.

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