The Echinoderm Tube Foot and its Role in Temporary Underwater Adhesion

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Adhesion (attachment with adhesive secretions) is a way of life in the sea (Waite, 1983). Indeed, representatives of bacteria, protoctists (including macroalgae), and all animal phyla, living in the sea attach to natural or artificial surfaces. Adhesion ability is particularly developed and diversified in invertebrates, which adhere during their larval and adult life (Walker, 1987; Smith and Callow, 2006). It is involved in various functions such as the handling of food, the building of tubes or burrowing and, especially, the attachment to the substratum (Walker, 1987; Tyler, 1988; Whittington and Cribb, 2001; Flammang et al, 2005). Indeed, seawater, being a dense medium, denies gravity to hold organisms to the bottom. Thus, to withstand the hydrodynamic forces, marine organisms rely on specialised adhesive mechanisms.
Original languageUnknown
Title of host publicationFunctional surfaces in biology: adhesion related phenomena
EditorsStanislav N. Gorb
Place of PublicationDordrecht
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
ISBN (Print)978-1-4020-6694-8/978-1-4020-6695-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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