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Grasping convergent evolution in syngnathids: a unique tale of tails

Céline Neutens UGent, Dominique Adriaens UGent, Joachim Christiaens UGent, Barbara De Kegel UGent, Manuel Dierick UGent, Renaud Boistel and Luc Van Hoorebeke UGent (2014) JOURNAL OF ANATOMY. 224(6). p.710-723
abstract
Seahorses and pipehorses both possess a prehensile tail, a unique characteristic among teleost fishes, allowing them to grasp and hold onto substrates such as sea grasses. Although studies have focused on tail grasping, the pattern of evolutionary transformations that made this possible is poorly understood. Recent phylogenetic studies show that the prehensile tail evolved independently in different syngnathid lineages, including seahorses, Haliichthys taeniophorus and several types of so-called pipehorses. This study explores the pattern that characterizes this convergent evolution towards a prehensile tail, by comparing the caudal musculoskeletal organization, as well as passive bending capacities in pipefish (representing the ancestral state), pipehorse, seahorse and H.taeniophorus. To study the complex musculoskeletal morphology, histological sectioning, CT-scanning and phase contrast synchrotron scanning were combined with virtual 3D-reconstructions. Results suggest that the independent evolution towards tail grasping in syngnathids reflects at least two quite different strategies in which the ancestral condition of a heavy plated and rigid system became modified into a highly flexible one. Intermediate skeletal morphologies (between the ancestral condition and seahorses) could be found in the pygmy pipehorses and H.taeniophorus, which are phylogenetically closely affiliated with seahorses. This study suggests that the characteristic parallel myoseptal organization as already described in seahorse (compared with a conical organization in pipefish and pipehorse) may not be a necessity for grasping, but represents an apomorphy for seahorses, as this pattern is not found in other syngnathid species possessing a prehensile tail. One could suggest that the functionality of grasping evolved before the specialized, parallel myoseptal organization seen in seahorses. However, as the grasping system in pipehorses is a totally different one, this cannot be concluded from this study.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
prehensile tail, musculoskeletal morphology, Syngnathidae, FUNCTIONAL-MORPHOLOGY, SEAHORSE HIPPOCAMPUS, CAUDAL VERTEBRAE, SYSTEM, TRANSFORMATIONS, FISHES, MUSCLE
journal title
JOURNAL OF ANATOMY
J. Anat.
volume
224
issue
6
pages
710 - 723
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000337568600009
JCR category
ANATOMY & MORPHOLOGY
JCR impact factor
2.097 (2014)
JCR rank
6/21 (2014)
JCR quartile
2 (2014)
ISSN
0021-8782
DOI
10.1111/joa.12181
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
4431657
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-4431657
date created
2014-06-27 14:40:47
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:47:00
@article{4431657,
  abstract     = {Seahorses and pipehorses both possess a prehensile tail, a unique characteristic among teleost fishes, allowing them to grasp and hold onto substrates such as sea grasses. Although studies have focused on tail grasping, the pattern of evolutionary transformations that made this possible is poorly understood. Recent phylogenetic studies show that the prehensile tail evolved independently in different syngnathid lineages, including seahorses, Haliichthys taeniophorus and several types of so-called pipehorses. This study explores the pattern that characterizes this convergent evolution towards a prehensile tail, by comparing the caudal musculoskeletal organization, as well as passive bending capacities in pipefish (representing the ancestral state), pipehorse, seahorse and H.taeniophorus. To study the complex musculoskeletal morphology, histological sectioning, CT-scanning and phase contrast synchrotron scanning were combined with virtual 3D-reconstructions. Results suggest that the independent evolution towards tail grasping in syngnathids reflects at least two quite different strategies in which the ancestral condition of a heavy plated and rigid system became modified into a highly flexible one. Intermediate skeletal morphologies (between the ancestral condition and seahorses) could be found in the pygmy pipehorses and H.taeniophorus, which are phylogenetically closely affiliated with seahorses. This study suggests that the characteristic parallel myoseptal organization as already described in seahorse (compared with a conical organization in pipefish and pipehorse) may not be a necessity for grasping, but represents an apomorphy for seahorses, as this pattern is not found in other syngnathid species possessing a prehensile tail. One could suggest that the functionality of grasping evolved before the specialized, parallel myoseptal organization seen in seahorses. However, as the grasping system in pipehorses is a totally different one, this cannot be concluded from this study.},
  author       = {Neutens, C{\'e}line and Adriaens, Dominique and Christiaens, Joachim and De Kegel, Barbara and Dierick, Manuel and Boistel, Renaud and Van Hoorebeke, Luc},
  issn         = {0021-8782},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF ANATOMY},
  keyword      = {prehensile tail,musculoskeletal morphology,Syngnathidae,FUNCTIONAL-MORPHOLOGY,SEAHORSE HIPPOCAMPUS,CAUDAL VERTEBRAE,SYSTEM,TRANSFORMATIONS,FISHES,MUSCLE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {710--723},
  title        = {Grasping convergent evolution in syngnathids: a unique tale of tails},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joa.12181},
  volume       = {224},
  year         = {2014},
}

Chicago
Neutens, Céline, Dominique Adriaens, Joachim Christiaens, Barbara De Kegel, Manuel Dierick, Renaud Boistel, and Luc Van Hoorebeke. 2014. “Grasping Convergent Evolution in Syngnathids: a Unique Tale of Tails.” Journal of Anatomy 224 (6): 710–723.
APA
Neutens, C., Adriaens, D., Christiaens, J., De Kegel, B., Dierick, M., Boistel, R., & Van Hoorebeke, L. (2014). Grasping convergent evolution in syngnathids: a unique tale of tails. JOURNAL OF ANATOMY, 224(6), 710–723.
Vancouver
1.
Neutens C, Adriaens D, Christiaens J, De Kegel B, Dierick M, Boistel R, et al. Grasping convergent evolution in syngnathids: a unique tale of tails. JOURNAL OF ANATOMY. 2014;224(6):710–23.
MLA
Neutens, Céline, Dominique Adriaens, Joachim Christiaens, et al. “Grasping Convergent Evolution in Syngnathids: a Unique Tale of Tails.” JOURNAL OF ANATOMY 224.6 (2014): 710–723. Print.