Publication
Title
Effects of snout dimensions on the hydrodynamics of suction feeding in juvenile and adult seahorses
Author
Abstract
Seahorses give birth to juveniles having a fully functional feeding apparatus, and juvenile feeding behaviour shows striking similarities to that of adults. However, a significant allometric growth of the snout is observed during which the snout shape changes from relatively short and broad in juveniles to relatively long and slender in adults. Since the shape of the buccal cavity is a critical determinant of the suction performance, this snout allometry will inevitably affect the suction feeding ability. To test whether the snout is optimised for suction feeding throughout an ontogeny, we simulated the expansion of different snout shapes varying from extremely long and slender to short and broad for juvenile and adult snout sizes, using computational fluid dynamic models. Our results showed that the snout diameter at the start of the simulations is involved in a trade-off between the realizable suction volume and expansion time on the one hand (improving with larger initial diameters), and maximal flow velocity on the other hand (improving with smaller initial diameters). Moreover suction performance (suction volume as well as maximal attainable flow velocity) increased with decreasing snout length. However, an increase in snout length decreases the time to reach the prey by the cranial rotation, which may explain the prevalence of long snouts among syngnathid fishes despite the reduced suction performance. Thus, the design of the seahorse snout revolves around a trade-off between the ability to generate high-volume suction versus minimisation of the time needed to reach the prey by the cranial rotation.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Journal of theoretical biology. - London
Publication
London : 2011
ISSN
0022-5193
Volume/pages
269:1(2011), p. 307-317
ISI
000286173000033
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 15.12.2010
Last edited 14.07.2017
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