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Ecomorphological adaptation to oxygen deficiency in Amazon floodplains by serrasalmid fish of the genus Mylossoma
Saint-Paul, U.; Soares, G.M. (1988). Ecomorphological adaptation to oxygen deficiency in Amazon floodplains by serrasalmid fish of the genus Mylossoma. J. Fish Biol. 32(2): 231-236
In: Journal of Fish Biology. Fisheries Society of the British Isles: London,New York,. ISSN 0022-1112, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Adaptations; Animal morphology; Anoxic conditions; Fish physiology; Flood plains; Freshwater fish; Lakes; Morphology; Oxygen depletion; Respiration; Subsurface water; Mylossoma Eigenmann & Kennedy, 1903 [WoRMS]; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Saint-Paul, U.
  • Soares, G.M.

Abstract
    Serrasalmids of the genus Mylossoma are obligate gill-breathers that are encountered in the floodplain lakes of Amazonia, even when the oxygen concentrations here are below 0 multiplied by 5 mg/1. It was shown by experiments that fish of these species are capable of utilizing the oxygen-rich surface layer of the water for espiration, in order to survive periods of habitat-induced hypoxia. This so-called aquatic surface respiration entails an increase in locomotory activity and an ecomorphosis involving the formation of dermal extension on the lower jaw, that apparently has a hydrodynamic function for using the surface layer for gill respiration; when the water is aerated, it retrogresses to its original size. Histological examination showed that the extension is formed by edematous processes in the stratum spongiosum.

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