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Data from: Extremely fast feeding strikes are powered by elastic recoil in a seahorse relative, the snipefish, Macroramphosus scolopax

Citation

Longo, Sarah J.; Goodearly, Tyler; Wainwright, Peter C. (2018), Data from: Extremely fast feeding strikes are powered by elastic recoil in a seahorse relative, the snipefish, Macroramphosus scolopax, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hb6b0

Abstract

Among over 30,000 species of ray-finned fishes, seahorses and pipefishes have a unique feeding mechanism whereby the elastic recoil of tendons allows them to rotate their long snouts extremely rapidly in order to capture small elusive prey. To understand the evolutionary origins of this feeding mechanism, its phylogenetic distribution among closely related lineages must be assessed. We present evidence for elastic recoil powered feeding in the snipefish (Macroramphosus scolopax) from kinematics, dynamics, and morphology. High-speed videos of strikes show they achieve extremely fast head and hyoid rotational velocities, resulting in rapid prey capture in as short at 2 ms. The maximum instantaneous muscle-mass-specific power requirement for head rotation in snipefish was above the known vertebrate maximum, which is evidence that strikes are not the result of direct muscle power. Finally, we show that the over-center conformation of the four-bar linkage mechanism coupling head elevation to hyoid rotation in snipefish can function as a torque reversal latch, preventing the head from rotating and providing the opportunity for elastic energy storage. The presence of elastic recoil feeding in snipefish means that this high-performance mechanism is not restricted to the Syngnathidae (seahorses and pipefish) and may have evolved in parallel.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1500800