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A fish that uses its hydrodynamic tongue to feed on land

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Abstract
To capture and swallow food on land, a sticky tongue supported by the hyoid and gill arch skeleton has evolved in land vertebrates from aquatic ancestors that used mouth-cavity-expanding actions of the hyoid to suck food into the mouth. However, the evolutionary pathway bridging this drastic shift in feeding mechanism and associated hyoid motions remains unknown. Modern fish that feed on land may help to unravel the physical constraints and biomechanical solutions that led to terrestrialization of fish-feeding systems. Here, we show that the mudskipper emerges onto land with its mouth cavity filled with water, which it uses as a protruding and retracting ‘hydrodynamic tongue’ during the initial capture and subsequent intra-oral transport of food. Our analyses link this hydrodynamic action of the intra-oral water to a sequence of compressive and expansive cranial motions that diverge from the general pattern known for suction feeding in fishes. However, the hyoid motion pattern showed a remarkable resemblance to newts during tongue prehension. Consequently, although alternative scenarios cannot be excluded, hydrodynamic tongue usage may be a transitional step onto which the evolution of adhesive mucosa and intrinsic lingual muscles can be added to gain further independence from water for terrestrial foraging.
Keywords
tongue, hyoid, newt, prey capture, kinematics, mudskipper, TERRESTRIAL PREY CAPTURE, TETRAPOD ICHTHYOSTEGA, SALAMANDRA-SALAMANDRA, TIKTAALIK-ROSEAE, TELEOST FISHES, KINEMATICS, EVOLUTION, BEHAVIOR, MORPHOLOGY, TRANSPORT

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Michel, Krijn B, Egon Heiss, Peter Aerts, and Sam Van Wassenbergh. 2015. “A Fish That Uses Its Hydrodynamic Tongue to Feed on Land.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B-biological Sciences 282 (1805).
APA
Michel, K. B., Heiss, E., Aerts, P., & Van Wassenbergh, S. (2015). A fish that uses its hydrodynamic tongue to feed on land. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 282(1805).
Vancouver
1.
Michel KB, Heiss E, Aerts P, Van Wassenbergh S. A fish that uses its hydrodynamic tongue to feed on land. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES. 2015;282(1805).
MLA
Michel, Krijn B, Egon Heiss, Peter Aerts, et al. “A Fish That Uses Its Hydrodynamic Tongue to Feed on Land.” PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 282.1805 (2015): n. pag. Print.
@article{5903879,
  abstract     = {To capture and swallow food on land, a sticky tongue supported by the hyoid and gill arch skeleton has evolved in land vertebrates from aquatic ancestors that used mouth-cavity-expanding actions of the hyoid to suck food into the mouth. However, the evolutionary pathway bridging this drastic shift in feeding mechanism and associated hyoid motions remains unknown. Modern fish that feed on land may help to unravel the physical constraints and biomechanical solutions that led to terrestrialization of fish-feeding systems. Here, we show that the mudskipper emerges onto land with its mouth cavity filled with water, which it uses as a protruding and retracting {\textquoteleft}hydrodynamic tongue{\textquoteright} during the initial capture and subsequent intra-oral transport of food. Our analyses link this hydrodynamic action of the intra-oral water to a sequence of compressive and expansive cranial motions that diverge from the general pattern known for suction feeding in fishes. However, the hyoid motion pattern showed a remarkable resemblance to newts during tongue prehension. Consequently, although alternative scenarios cannot be excluded, hydrodynamic tongue usage may be a transitional step onto which the evolution of adhesive mucosa and intrinsic lingual muscles can be added to gain further independence from water for terrestrial foraging.},
  articleno    = {20150057},
  author       = {Michel, Krijn B and Heiss, Egon and Aerts, Peter and Van Wassenbergh, Sam},
  issn         = {0962-8452},
  journal      = {PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1805},
  pages        = {7},
  title        = {A fish that uses its hydrodynamic tongue to feed on land},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.0057},
  volume       = {282},
  year         = {2015},
}

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