A functional morphological approach to the scaling of the feeding system in the African catfish, Clarias gariepinusReport as inadecuate




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(2005)JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY.208(11).p.2091-2102 Mark abstract Effects of size are pervasive and affect nearly all aspects of the biology of animals and plants. Theoretical scaling models have been developed to predict the effects of size on the functioning of musculo-skeletal systems. Although numerous experimental studies have investigated the effects of size on the movements of skeletal elements during locomotion and feeding in vertebrates, relatively little is known about the scaling of the muscles and bones responsible for the actual movements. Here, we examine the scaling of external morphology, skeletal elements of the feeding system, and a number of cranial muscles to understand how this may affect the movements observed during suction feeding in the African catfish, Clarias gariepinus. The results show that neither the head nor the cranial elements themselves scale according to geometric similarity models. Relative to head size, distinct changes in the mass and configuration of the feeding structures takes place. Unexpectedly, different cranial muscles show different scaling patterns that ultimately all lead to a positive allometry of muscle cross-sectional area relative to fish head size. This suggests that (1) the scaling of the cranial elements cannot be predicted a priori based on the scaling of external head dimensions and (2) the scaling of the feeding system is optimised towards high force output in the larger animals. An analysis of the consequences of the observed changes in morphology with size on performance traits, including bite force and jaw closing velocity, suggests a tight link between the scaling of the feeding system and the natural diet of these fish. Whereas for smaller size classes the system is tuned towards high bite forces, for animals with cranial lengths greater than 65 mm the scaling of the feeding system appears to be dictated by the hydrodynamic constraints on suction feeding.

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication: http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-322408



Author: A HERREL, S VAN WASSENBERGH, S WOUTERS, Dominique Adriaens and Peter Aerts

Source: https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/322408



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