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Suction is kid's play: extremely fast suction in newborn seahorses

(2009) BIOLOGY LETTERS. 5(2). p.200-203
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Abstract
Ongoing anatomical development typically results in a gradual maturation of the feeding movements from larval to adult fishes. Adult seahorses are known to capture prey by rotating their long-snouted head extremely quickly towards prey, followed by powerful suction. This type of suction is powered by elastic recoil and requires very precise coordination of the movements of the associated feeding structures, making it an all-or-none phenomenon. Here, we show that newborn Hippocampus reidi are able to successfully feed using an extremely rapid and powerful snout rotation combined with a high-volume suction, surpassing that observed in adult seahorses. An inverse dynamic analysis shows that an elastic recoil mechanism is also used to power head rotation in newborn H. reidi. This illustrates how extreme levels of performance in highly complex musculoskeletal systems can be present at birth given a delayed birth and rapid development of functionally important structures. The fact that the head skeleton of newborn seahorses is still largely cartilaginous may not be problematic because the hydrodynamic stress on the rotating snout appeared considerably lower than in adult syngnathids.
Keywords
mouth, mechanism, biomechanics, larvae, Syngnathidae, prey capture, feeding, pipefish, prey

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Citation

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Chicago
Van Wassenbergh, Sam, Gert Roos, Annelies Genbrugge, Heleen Leysen, Peter Aerts, Dominique Adriaens, and Anthony Herrel. 2009. “Suction Is Kid’s Play: Extremely Fast Suction in Newborn Seahorses.” Biology Letters 5 (2): 200–203.
APA
Van Wassenbergh, Sam, Roos, G., Genbrugge, A., Leysen, H., Aerts, P., Adriaens, D., & Herrel, A. (2009). Suction is kid’s play: extremely fast suction in newborn seahorses. BIOLOGY LETTERS, 5(2), 200–203.
Vancouver
1.
Van Wassenbergh S, Roos G, Genbrugge A, Leysen H, Aerts P, Adriaens D, et al. Suction is kid’s play: extremely fast suction in newborn seahorses. BIOLOGY LETTERS. 6-9 CARLTON HOUSE TERRACE, LONDON SW1Y 5AG, ENGLAND: ROYAL SOC; 2009;5(2):200–3.
MLA
Van Wassenbergh, Sam, Gert Roos, Annelies Genbrugge, et al. “Suction Is Kid’s Play: Extremely Fast Suction in Newborn Seahorses.” BIOLOGY LETTERS 5.2 (2009): 200–203. Print.
@article{686463,
  abstract     = {Ongoing anatomical development typically results in a gradual maturation of the feeding movements from larval to adult fishes. Adult seahorses are known to capture prey by rotating their long-snouted head extremely quickly towards prey, followed by powerful suction. This type of suction is powered by elastic recoil and requires very precise coordination of the movements of the associated feeding structures, making it an all-or-none phenomenon. Here, we show that newborn Hippocampus reidi are able to successfully feed using an extremely rapid and powerful snout rotation combined with a high-volume suction, surpassing that observed in adult seahorses. An inverse dynamic analysis shows that an elastic recoil mechanism is also used to power head rotation in newborn H. reidi. This illustrates how extreme levels of performance in highly complex musculoskeletal systems can be present at birth given a delayed birth and rapid development of functionally important structures. The fact that the head skeleton of newborn seahorses is still largely cartilaginous may not be problematic because the hydrodynamic stress on the rotating snout appeared considerably lower than in adult syngnathids.},
  author       = {Van Wassenbergh, Sam and Roos, Gert and Genbrugge, Annelies and Leysen, Heleen and Aerts, Peter and Adriaens, Dominique and Herrel, Anthony},
  issn         = {1744-9561},
  journal      = {BIOLOGY LETTERS},
  keyword      = {mouth,mechanism,biomechanics,larvae,Syngnathidae,prey capture,feeding,pipefish,prey},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {200--203},
  publisher    = {ROYAL SOC},
  title        = {Suction is kid's play: extremely fast suction in newborn seahorses},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2008.0765},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2009},
}

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