Polyodon spathula can be seen swimming around with their mouths wide open.  This allows them to filter feed and ventilate their gills, or ram ventilate, all at once.  These species use electroreceptors to locate their food, the zooplankton such as Daphnia spp. (the water flea) and insect larvae.  With the threat of the invasive species zebra mussels, there has been a decline in the Daphnia spp.  The American Paddlefish has also been found to be used as hosts for numerous species. 

Figure 10.  Paddlefish with its large mouth open.


How do these organisms reproduce?
Proceed to the Reproduction page to find out.



Visit to explore more organisms!
Visit the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, birthplace of the Multiple Organisms web pages!