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Ontogeny of feeding behavior and cranial morphology in the whitespotted bambooshark Chiloscyllium plagiosum
Lowry, D.; Motta, P.J. (2007). Ontogeny of feeding behavior and cranial morphology in the whitespotted bambooshark Chiloscyllium plagiosum. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 151(5): 2013-2023. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-007-0642-z
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Lowry, D.
  • Motta, P.J.

Abstract
    Morphological and behavioral development of the feeding apparatus over early ontogeny can profoundly affect the ability of an organism to obtain nourishment, ultimately impacting survival. The interplay between morphology and behavior over the first year of life was studied in the whitespotted bambooshark Chiloscyllium plagiosum (Bennett 1830) beginning in March of 2002 using high-speed videography and dissection. Externally measured variables describing cranial growth, and jaw weight, scaled at or near isometry while jaw and hyoid musculature, especially the coracohyoideus, demonstrated considerable hypertrophication. The difference between the volume of the buccal cavity when open and closed scaled with substantial positive allometry while the time to reach maximum jaw and hyoid abduction exhibited weak allometry, resulting in the capacity for more rapid and greater volumetric intake during feeding. In addition, the relative forward motion of the predator during a strike decreased over ontogeny and the feeding modality became more suction-dominated. Kinematic variables exhibited little variability and the primary aspect of food capture that was modulated in response to food type was the forward motion of the predator. An increase in capture success was noted for live, elusive shrimp over ontogeny indicating that morphological and behavioral changes have direct consequences for prey acquisition. Conservation of head shape coupled with a narrow behavioral repertoire is hypothesized to increase prey capture success in the wild over ontogeny as individuals become more proficient in the execution of a single, low-variability, suction-dominated capture behavior.

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