Navigation Links
Black piranha, megapiranha have most powerful bites of fish living or extinct, finds GW researcher
Date:12/20/2012

WASHINGTON The black piranha and the extinct giant piranha, or megapiranha, have the most powerful bites of carnivorous fishes, living or extinct, once body size is taken into account, finds researchers in a paper recently published in Scientific Reports. The research paper, Mega-Bites: Extreme jaw forces of living and extinct piranhas, highlights the piranhas' specialized jaw morphology, which allows them to attack and bite chunks out of much larger prey.

Guillermo Ort, the George Washington University Louis Weintraub Professor of Biology in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, is one of the authors of the paper. His research focuses on the evolution of fishes in general, but specializes on Amazonian fishes, to unravel evolutionary relationships based on DNA sequence data. In 2010, Dr. Orti along with other researchers participated in an expedition to the Xingu and Iriri rivers in Amazonia to collect the data on the fish.

Piranhas' aggressive nature, relatively small size and accessible populations make them a suitable group of predatory vertebrates in which to study the evolution of extreme biting capabilities. Even at their small body sizes, diet studies indicate that piranhas will attack and bite chunks of bony fins and flesh from prey many times larger than themselves. In spite of their reputation, no quantitative data or empirical estimates regarding the piranhas biting abilities were available.

The paper reports the first bite-force measurements taken from wild specimens of the largest species of carnivorous piranha in the Amazon, the black piranha, and describes the underlying functional morphology of the jaws that allows this creature to bite with a force more than 30 times greater than its weight. The powerful bite is achieved primarily due to the large muscle mass of the black piranha's jaw and the efficient transmission of its large contractile forces through a highly modified jaw-closing lever.

The expedition was organized and filmed by National Geographic. A subsequent program called Megapiranha aired on the National Geographic Channel featured the expedition and focused on the creature that existed millions of years ago.

"It was very exciting to participate in this project, travel one more time to the Amazon to be able to directly measure bite forces in the wild," said Dr. Orti. "I learned a lot of biomechanics from my colleagues while collecting valuable specimens for my own research." The authors also reconstructed the bite force of the megapiranha, showing that for its relatively diminutive body size, the bite of this fossil piranha dwarfed that of other extinct mega-predators, including the whale-eating shark and the Devonian placoderm. Research at the Ort lab at GW continues to focus on reconstructing the genealogical tree of fishes including piranhas based on genomic data.

Scientific Reports is a primary research publication from the publishers of Nature, covering all areas of the natural sciences.


'/>"/>

Contact: Latarsha Gatlin
lgatlin@gwu.edu
202-994-5631
George Washington University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Black flies may have a purpose after all
2. Wiley-Blackwell launches new open-access journal: Food Science & Nutrition
3. Black brant geese show lifetime relationship good for goose and gander
4. Are brown widows displacing black widow spiders around southern California homes?
5. Sickle cell trait can cause sudden cardiac death in black athletes: Why is this controversial?
6. Unusual weather events identified during the Black Saturday bushfires
7. Black belts white matter shows how a powerful punch comes from the brain
8. Human impact felt on Black Sea long before industrial era
9. Scientists find aphid resistance in black raspberry
10. Lack of vitamin D contributes to pain in black Americans with knee osteoarthritis
11. Le Rouge et le Noir: Where the black dahlia gets its color
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Black piranha, megapiranha have most powerful bites of fish living or extinct, finds GW researcher
(Date:1/28/2016)... JOSE, Calif., Jan. 28, 2016 Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ... results for its second quarter ended December 31, 2015. ... second quarter of fiscal 2016 increased 2 percent compared to the ... second quarter of fiscal 2016 was $35.0 million, or $0.93 per ... Non-GAAP net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... , Jan. 25, 2016  Glencoe Software, the world-leading ... and publication industries, will provide the data management solution ... (NPSC). ... Phenotypic analysis measures the ... organisms, allowing comparisons between states such as health and ...
(Date:1/21/2016)... 21, 2016 --> ... market research report "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by Technology ... (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition and Others), Services, Application ... to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global Emotion ... USD 22.65 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... Feb.10, 2016 ASAE is introducing a hybrid ... Companies (AMC) the option of joining or renewing through ... determined by staff size, every employee in any size ... and reap all available member benefits.   ... organizational membership options will allow organizations of any size ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... centers across three states, announced today the promotion of two long-standing principal investigators ... Chief of Family Medicine, Clinical Research and Development. , Dr. Laurence Chu, a ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... now available on Microsoft Azure. On Azure, Arvados provides capabilities for managing and ... clear demand for Microsoft Azure from major institutions collecting and analyzing genomic data,” ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... LITTLE FALLS, N.J. , Feb. 9, 2016 ... ), a biotechnology company specializing in the development ... the health of damaged tissues and organs, recently ... milestones for the first quarter of 2016. ... Regenicin began the new 2015 fiscal year in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: