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Dimorphism throughout the European eel's life cycle : are ontogenetic changes in head shape related to dietary differences?

(2018) JOURNAL OF ANATOMY. 233(3). p.289-301
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Abstract
A well-known link exists between an organism's ecology and morphology. In the European eel, a dimorphic head has been linked to differences in feeding ecology, with broad-headed eels consuming harder prey items than narrow-headed ones. Consequently, we hypothesized that broad-heads should exhibit a cranial musculoskeletal system that increases bite force and facilitates the consumption of harder prey. Using 3D-reconstructions and a bite model, we tested this hypothesis in two life stages: the sub-adult yellow eel stage and its predecessor, the elver eel stage. This allowed us to test whether broad- and narrow-headed phenotypes show similar trait differences in both life stages and whether the dimorphism becomes more pronounced during ontogeny. We show that broad-headed eels in both stages have larger jaw muscles and a taller coronoid, which are associated with higher bite forces. This increased bite force together with the elongated upper and lower jaws in broad-headed eels can also improve grip during spinning behavior, which is used to manipulate hard prey. Head shape variation in European eel is therefore associated with musculoskeletal variation that can be linked to feeding ecology. However, although differences in muscle volume become more pronounced during ontogeny, this was not the case for skeletal features.
Keywords
anguilliformes, bite force, cranial osteology, feeding, myology, JAW MUSCLE SIZE, BITE FORCE, ANGUILLA-ANGUILLA, CRANIAL MORPHOLOGY, FEEDING PERFORMANCE, LACERTID LIZARDS, FUNCTIONAL BASIS, GLASS EELS, ECOMORPHOLOGY, MECHANICS

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Chicago
De Meyer, Jens, Tim Goethals, Sam Van Wassenbergh, Tom Augustijns, Joos Habraken, Jorn Hellemans, Vicky Vandewiele, Jelle Dhaene, Mathias Bouilliart, and Dominique Adriaens. 2018. “Dimorphism Throughout the European Eel’s Life Cycle : Are Ontogenetic Changes in Head Shape Related to Dietary Differences?” Journal of Anatomy 233 (3): 289–301.
APA
De Meyer, Jens, Goethals, T., Van Wassenbergh, S., Augustijns, T., Habraken, J., Hellemans, J., Vandewiele, V., et al. (2018). Dimorphism throughout the European eel’s life cycle : are ontogenetic changes in head shape related to dietary differences? JOURNAL OF ANATOMY, 233(3), 289–301.
Vancouver
1.
De Meyer J, Goethals T, Van Wassenbergh S, Augustijns T, Habraken J, Hellemans J, et al. Dimorphism throughout the European eel’s life cycle : are ontogenetic changes in head shape related to dietary differences? JOURNAL OF ANATOMY. 2018;233(3):289–301.
MLA
De Meyer, Jens, Tim Goethals, Sam Van Wassenbergh, et al. “Dimorphism Throughout the European Eel’s Life Cycle : Are Ontogenetic Changes in Head Shape Related to Dietary Differences?” JOURNAL OF ANATOMY 233.3 (2018): 289–301. Print.
@article{8563988,
  abstract     = {A well-known link exists between an organism's ecology and morphology. In the European eel, a dimorphic head has been linked to differences in feeding ecology, with broad-headed eels consuming harder prey items than narrow-headed ones. Consequently, we hypothesized that broad-heads should exhibit a cranial musculoskeletal system that increases bite force and facilitates the consumption of harder prey. Using 3D-reconstructions and a bite model, we tested this hypothesis in two life stages: the sub-adult yellow eel stage and its predecessor, the elver eel stage. This allowed us to test whether broad- and narrow-headed phenotypes show similar trait differences in both life stages and whether the dimorphism becomes more pronounced during ontogeny. We show that broad-headed eels in both stages have larger jaw muscles and a taller coronoid, which are associated with higher bite forces. This increased bite force together with the elongated upper and lower jaws in broad-headed eels can also improve grip during spinning behavior, which is used to manipulate hard prey. Head shape variation in European eel is therefore associated with musculoskeletal variation that can be linked to feeding ecology. However, although differences in muscle volume become more pronounced during ontogeny, this was not the case for skeletal features.},
  author       = {De Meyer, Jens and Goethals, Tim and Van Wassenbergh, Sam and Augustijns, Tom and Habraken, Joos and Hellemans, Jorn and Vandewiele, Vicky and Dhaene, Jelle and Bouilliart, Mathias and Adriaens, Dominique},
  issn         = {0021-8782},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF ANATOMY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {289--301},
  title        = {Dimorphism throughout the European eel's life cycle : are ontogenetic changes in head shape related to dietary differences?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joa.12836},
  volume       = {233},
  year         = {2018},
}

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