Robolimpets: measuring intertidal body temperatures using biomimetic loggers

Fernando P. Lima, David S. Wethey

Limnol. Oceanogr. Methods 7:347-353 (2009) | DOI: 10.4319/lom.2009.7.347

ABSTRACT: This work introduces new biomimetic devices to record body temperatures of sessile intertidal animals. These waterproof devices, built around dissected circuit boards from Maxim DS1922 Thermochron iButtons, are demonstrated using intertidal limpets (Tectura persona). Data were validated by a field experiment carried out at Friday Harbor, Washington, USA. These loggers, named robolimpets, can easily be deployed to autonomously and accurately measure temperatures for long periods of time. Given that they mimic the visual aspect of real animals, they have the advantage of being inconspicuous in the intertidal environment. Their measurements not only match the temperature trajectories, but also the warming and cooling rates and daily temperature maxima and minima of live limpets. Robolimpets provide valuable data on the body temperatures experienced by intertidal animals.