Elusive Prey (elusive + prey)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Phylogenetic analysis of the pearlfish tribe Carapini (Pisces: Carapidae)

ACTA ZOOLOGICA, Issue 4 2000
E. Parmentier
Abstract Fishes of the tribe Carapini (Encheliophis and Carapus) share a noteworthy peculiarity: they shelter in holothurian echinoderms or bivalve hosts. Some species are considered parasitic, others commensal. This study focuses on the phylogeny of the tribe, using two other Carapidae species as an outgroup (Snyderidia canina and Onuxodon fowleri). Insofar as possible, the selected anatomical and behavioural characters where chosen in an ecomorphological perspective, as features that could be responses to various lifestyle-related constraints. Our character selection also took into account the fact that some features are (presumably) linked. Such features were grouped together as a single trait to avoid their overvaluation. This methodology enabled commensals to be separated from parasites, the former belonging to Carapus and the latter to Encheliophis. Carapus species reflect in their morphology the constraints imposed by a diet of hard, mobile, elusive prey, showing predator-type features: a strong dentition, a wide mouth opening, a robust food intake apparatus. On the other hand, the endoparasitic Encheliophis species show a generally weaker buccal apparatus and narrow mouth opening, in relation to the different constraints of their lifestyle where the diet constraints are less pronounced: they eat body parts of their host. Changes in both generic diagnoses are proposed and three species are transferred from Encheliophis to Carapus. [source]

Diet-induced phenotypic plasticity in the skull morphology of hatchery-reared Florida largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides floridanus

A. P. Wintzer
Abstract , Hatchery-reared Florida largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides floridanus, feed on inert pellet food while their wild counterparts capture elusive prey. Differences in levels of prey elusivity often mandate the use of alternate methods of prey capture. This study examines whether elusivity-based variation in prey capture translates to a phenotypic change during skull development, and if this change results in a functional difference in the feeding mechanism. The developmental pattern of the skull was conserved between hatchery and wild bass until 80,99 mm TL. At this point, wild bass quickly developed morphological changes of the jaw apparatus including a more fusiform head and elongated jaw structures. Natural development in hatchery bass, however, was retarded at this size. Post-release, the skulls of hatchery fish converged towards those of wild bass by 135 mm TL. Despite variation in skull development, no theoretical advantage in food capture was found between these two groups. Resumen 1. Los individuos de Micropterus salmoides floridanus criados en cautividad se alimentan de cápsulas inertes de comida mientras que sus congéneres salvajes capturan presas elusivas. A menudo diferencias en los niveles de elusividad de las presas permiten la utilización de métodos alternativos para capturar presas. Este estudio examina si la variación basada en la elusividad de la captura de presas se traduce en un cambio fenotípico durante el desarrollo del cráneo y si este cambio resulta en una diferencia funcional en el mecanismo de alimentación. 2. El patrón de desarrollo del cráneo se mantuvo entre individuos criados en cautividad y en individuos salvajes hasta los 80,99 mm longitud total. En este punto, los individuos salvajes desarrollaron rápidamente cambios en el aparato mandibular incluyendo una cabeza más fusiforme y estructuras mandibulares mas alargadas. Sin embargo, en individuos de cautiverio, el desarrollo natural se retrasó en este tamaño. 3. Tras una suelta, los cráneos de individuos procedentes de cautiverio convergieron hacia los individuos salvajes en los 135 mm longitud total. A pesar de la variación en el desarrollo del cráneo, no encontramos ninguna ventaja teórica en la captura de alimento entre estos dos grupos. [source]

Size-related shifts in dietary composition of Centropomus parallelus (Perciformes: Centropomidae) in an estuarine ecosystem of the southeastern coast of Brazil

R. Feltrin Contente
Summary Size-related and seasonal evaluation of the dietary composition of fat snook (Centropomus parallelus Poey 1860) in the upper sector of an estuary of the southeastern coast of Brazil were carried out based on stomach analyses of specimens ranging from 40 to 170 mm standard length. Results reveal that C. parallelus is a carnivorous species feeding mainly on benthic crustaceans. Relatively high stomach replenishment suggests that this environment is an important feeding ground for fat snook juveniles. Multivariate analyses indicated that predator size effect is significantly more important than seasonal variation in determining dietary composition. Predator length was associated with increased consumption of palaemonid shrimps (Macrobrachium spp.) and grapsid crabs, and decreased foraging on tanaids (Kalliapseudes schubarti), thus showing a preference shift from smaller to larger prey. Predator length was also positively associated with an increase in the stomach repletion index. Additionally, allometric growth of both gape and head were consistently correlated with this ontogenetic dietary transition, suggesting that such changes might be related to an individual's ability to capture and consume larger, more elusive prey. The digestive tube is short and grows isometrically, which is in accordance with the carnivorous habit of this estuarine fish and its maintenance through ontogeny. [source]

Musculoskeletal underpinnings to differences in killing behavior between North American accipiters (Falconiformes: Accipitridae) and falcons (Falconidae)

Diego Sustaita
Abstract Accipiters (Accipiter spp.) and falcons (Falco spp.) both use their feet to seize prey, but falcons kill primarily with their beaks, whereas accipiters kill with their feet. This study examines the mechanistic basis to differences in their modes of dispatching prey, by focusing on the myology and biomechanics of the jaws, digits, and distal hindlimb. Bite, grip, and distal hindlimb flexion forces were estimated from measurements of physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) and indices of mechanical advantage (MA) for the major jaw adductors, and digit and tarsometatarsal flexors. Estimated bite force, total jaw adductor PCSA, and jaw MA (averaged over adductors) tended to be relatively and absolutely greater in falcons, reflecting their emphasis on biting for dispatching their prey. Differences between genera in estimated grip force, total digit flexor PCSA, and digit MA (averaged over inter-phalangeal joints and digits) were not as clear-cut; each of these parameters scaled positively allometric in accipiters, which may reflect the scaling of both prey size, and the proportion of mammalian prey consumed by this lineage with increasing body size. Estimated tarsometatarsal force was greater in falcons than in accipiters, due to their greater MA, which may reflect selection for incurring greater forces during prey strikes. Conversely, the comparatively lower tarsometatarsal MA in accipiters reflects their capacity for greater foot speed potentially necessary for grasping elusive prey. Thus, this study elucidates how differences in jaw and hindlimb musculoskeletal morphology of accipiters and falcons are reflected in differences in their killing modes, and through differences in their force-generating capacities. J. Morphol., 2008. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Morphological specializations of baleen whales associated with hydrodynamic performance and ecological niche

Becky L. Woodward
Abstract Feeding behavior, prey type, and habitat appear to be associated with the morphological design of body, fluke, and flippers in baleen whales. Morphometric data from whaling records and recent stranding events were compiled, and morphometric parameters describing the body length, and fluke and flipper dimensions for an "average" blue whale Balaenoptera musculus, humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae, gray whale Eschrichtius robustus, and right whale Eubalaena glacialis were determined. Body mass, body volume, body surface area, and fluke and flipper surface areas were estimated. The resultant morphological configurations lent themselves to the following classifications based on hydrodynamic principles: fast cruiser, slow cruiser, fast maneuverer, and slow maneuverer. Blue whales have highly streamlined bodies with small, high aspect ratio flippers and flukes for fast efficient cruising in the open ocean. On the other hand, the rotund right whale has large, high aspect ratio flukes for efficient slow speed cruising that is optimal for their continuous filter feeding technique. Humpbacks have large, high aspect ratio flippers and a large, low aspect ratio tail for quick acceleration and high-speed maneuvering which would help them catch their elusive prey, while gray whales have large, low aspect ratio flippers and flukes for enhanced low-speed maneuvering in complex coastal water habitats. J. Morphol., 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]