No trade-off between biting and suction feeding performance in clariid catfishes

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2007
Authors:S. Van Wassenbergh, Herrel, A. , Adriaens, D. , Aerts, P.
Journal:Journal of Experimental Biology
Accession Number:WOS:000244070300012

It is generally assumed that biting performance trades off with suction performance in fish because both feeding types may place conflicting demands on the cranial musculo-skeletal system. However, the functional consequences of morphological adaptations enhancing biting on the mechanics and performance of suction feeding in fish remain obscure. In this study, suction feeding performance was compared between three clariid catfish species differing considerably in their biting capacity, by measuring the velocity of a standardized prey being sucked into the buccal cavity using high-speed cineradiography. In addition, buccal volume changes during prey capture were quantified by ellipse modelling. As all species were able to accelerate the prey to similar peak velocities, our results demonstrate the possibility for catfishes to increase bite performance considerably without compromising suction performance. The amount of buccal expansion in the ventral direction is approximately equal for all species. Consequently, the system generating expansion through ventral rotation of the lower jaw, hyoid and pectoral girdle is apparently not constrained (mechanically or architectonically) by the hypertrophy of the jaw adductors. As the effect of a reduced magnitude of lateral expansion (suspensorium abduction) on suction performance in Clariidae appears to be negligible (for example in Gymnallabes typus), these data demonstrate the dominant role of ventral expansion for producing suction in these fish.

URL:<Go to ISI>://WOS:000244070300012

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