we use a model framework with a minimal number of traits that can constitute 250 a generic filter
feeder to investigate optima and limitations of those traits in the pelagic realm. We identify a
252 range of trait combinations that are physically possible or that give an evolutionary advantage to
filter feeders under specific conditions. We focus on a mechanistic understanding of the important
254 parameters and their various effects to investigate species-overarching trends rather than making
precise quantitative predictions for one unique optimal design and behavior of a single species.
We are thankful to Friederike Prowe and Tomas Bohr for stimulating discussions during the develop258
ment of this model study. The Centre for Ocean Life is a VKR Centre of Excellence supported by
the Villum Foundation.