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Modelling stress in the feeding apparatus of seahorses and pipefishes (Teleostei: Syngnathidae)
Leysen, H.; Dumont, E.R.; Brabant, L.; Van Hoorebeke, L.; Adriaens, D. (2011). Modelling stress in the feeding apparatus of seahorses and pipefishes (Teleostei: Syngnathidae). Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 104(3): 680-691.
In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0024-4066; e-ISSN 1095-8312, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 279988 [ OMA ]

    Stress (biological)
    Syngnathidae Bonaparte, 1831 [WoRMS]; Teleostei [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    bone stress; finite element analysis; snout elongation; suction feeding

Authors  Top 
  • Leysen, H., more
  • Dumont, E.R.
  • Brabant, L., more
  • Van Hoorebeke, L., more
  • Adriaens, D., more

    Seahorses and pipefishes are extremely fast suction feeders, and the fast strikes probably result in large and rapid pressure drops in the buccal cavity. These rapid drops in pressure imply heavy mechanical loading on the cranium; hence, the feeding apparatus is thought to experience high levels of stress. We used finite element analysis (FEA) to investigate where stress accumulates under strong suction pressure, and whether there is a difference in craniofacial stress distribution between long- and short-snouted species. The expectation was that high stress levels would occur at the articulations and in the cartilaginous regions of the cranium, and that, given the same pressure, the skulls of long-snouted species would exhibit lower stress levels than the skulls of short-snouted species, as an evolutionary increase in snout length might have made these species structurally better adapted to deal with high suction pressures. The results partially support the first hypothesis: except for Dunckerocampus dactyliophorus, all models show peak stress concentrations at the articulations and cartilaginous regions. However, no simple relationship between snout length and the magnitudes of stress predicted by the FEA was found. In an attempt to explain this lack of a relationship, the methodology was evaluated by assessing the effect of hyoid position and model construction on the stress distribution.

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