University of Connecticut
Department of Marine Sciences

Dr. J. Evan Ward, Professor

Related Links: University of Connecticut Department of Marine Sciences Marine Sciences Major




Endoscopy Videos

Endoscope Equipment

Video endoscopy has been used in the medical and veterinarian fields for decades to examine internal organs and structures of humans and animals. Its use in marine biology, however, was limited due to cost, lack of techniques, and methodological problems. In 1990, while employed as a post-doctoral Research Fellow at Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada, my colleagues and I developed techniques to apply video endoscopy to the study of bivalve molluscs. Since that time, the observations and data we have collected from in vivo observations of feeding have shed new light and understanding on the process of particle feeding in bivalves and other suspension feeders.

Numerous conference presentations, invited seminars, and publications have resulted from this work (see Publications). In addition, we have developed an educational video that demonstrates feeding processes in bivalves, and I have participated in the making of an Open University, teaching video that explores the functional biology of suspension feeders.

Note: All video clips are protected by international copyright laws and are intended for use by individual researchers or instructors in a class-room setting. Those wishing to use the video clips for other purposes should contact me for permission.


A. Videos for general interest and education

MPG Movie Clip
**New** Atlantic Slippersnail (Crepidula fornicata) - summary of suspension feeding processes: large format (see Shumway et al. 2015, J. Shellfish Res. 33: 1-13)

MPG Movie Clip
Blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) - summary of suspension feeding processes: medium format

MPG Movie Clip
Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) - particle selection and in vivo sampling: medium format (see Ward et al. 1997, Nature, 390: 131-132)

B. Video produced by the BBC for the Open University (UK).

MPG Movie Clip
This video summarizes suspension feeding processes in bivalves and includes endoscopy sequences. It was produced as part of Open University's Uniformity and Diversity series. Click on the link to the left and then select "Investigating Bivalves."

C. Videos to support data and interpretations presented in Ward et al. (1998, L&O, 43: 741-752) and Ward et al. (2000, L&O, 45: 1203-1210)

These video sequences demonstrate the important points concerning in vivo observations of feeding and our particle capture model. Please see the above papers for a full explanation of data presented in the video clips.

Note: Video clips have been compressed to reduce disk storage space and down-loading time. For best viewing, dim room lights and adjust monitor brightness and contrast if needed. Quality of images will vary depending on quality of the video card and monitor of your computer system. Original images are of higher quality.

MPG Movie Clip
Quality 1:  Demonstration of high quality images obtained with modern endoscope system.
MPG Movie Clip
Quality 2:  Demonstration of low quality images obtained with old endoscope system.
MPG Movie Clip Resolution 1:  Calibration of endoscope system showing 3.0 um as limit of resolution.
MPG Movie Clip
Resolution 2:  Demonstration of some aspects of particle capture and visualization of movement of individual particles and phytoplankton cells.
MPG Movie Clip
Dye Study:  Demonstration of flow characteristics within the pallial cavity.
MPG Movie Clip
Particle Tracking:  Demonstration of particle kinematics above and along the ctenidia of bivalves. Stop-frame analysis allows us to track particle trajectories and movements.

In Vivo Particle Capture in bivalvesD. Digitized frame from in vivo, endoscopic observations of particle capture in bivalves.

Digitized, video micrographs of particle kinematics above and along the frontal surface of the ctenidia (=gill) of two filibranchiate bivalves. Particles (white dots) were positioned on micrographs to illustrate specific paths obtained by motion analysis.

Numbers indicate cumulative frame advances for a given position of the particle (0.033-s time steps, NTSC). The x indicates position of particle when it first contacted a given ctenidial filament. Scale bars are about 100 µm.

(A) Mytilus edulis ctenidium showing direct interception of particle (path 1).
(B) M. edulis ctenidium showing trap-and-flip capture of particle (path 2).
(C) Arca zebra ctenidium showing direct interception of particle (path 1).
(D) A. zebra ctenidium showing particle traversing an interfilamentary space at the level of the frontal surface (skip, path 3). (see Ward et al. 1998, L & O)