Behaviour

Like all other brachiopods, L. anatina is a suspension feeder; utilising a soft, ciliated, fleshy ribbon-like structure to filter food particles from the water column. This structure (called a lophophore) is coiled within the two valves (shells) of the animal.

L. anatina lives in vertical burrows in soft substrates, generally in littoral environments. The animal itself also lives in a vertical position with the anterior edge of the shell at the sediment-water interface. Cilia at the edge of the valves are formed into three distinct regions in order to create separate inhalant and exhalant psuedosiphons to aid the movement of water through the shell cavity to maximise feeding efficiency.

If L. anatina becomes uncovered it is able to rebury itself and form a new burrow. It does this by making use of opening and closing movements of the two valves along with lateral shear movements to burrow its way back down into the sediment. In order to achieve the correct orientation again in the burrow, it digs a U-shaped burrow so that its anterior is uppermost in the ascending limb.

The infaunal lifestyle of L. anatina ensures that predation significantly reduced, the most notable predator of modern lingulids is man. In the Far East they are dug up during low tides and the pedicle is eaten under the name of ‘sea bamboo shoots’.