Navigation Links
Lopsided fish show that symmetry is only skin deep

Putting function before form, members of the Perissodinus genus of fish have developed a hugely lopsided jaw that provides a distinct feeding advantage. Research published in the open access journal BMC Biology describes how these scale-eating fish, called cichlids, develop mouths directed either to the left or the right enabling them to feed on the opposite side of their prey.

A research team from Syracuse University, led by Thomas Stewart and R. Craig Albertson, studied the facial evolution of cichlids from Lake Tanganyika in eastern Africa, where they feed on the scales of larger lake-dwellers. According to Stewart, "While most animals have bilateral symmetry and some show a radial symmetry, asymmetries are actually relatively common in nature. For example, humans can be either left handed or right handed, and one side of the brain is structured differently to the other. Often, both the trait and whether it is placed on the left or right are genetically determined, and the population as a whole tends to show the same characteristic. For example, most people have their heart positioned slightly to the left".

The research team found that there is a genetic locus that determines whether a cichlid will be a 'lefty' or a 'righty'. However, they add that these developmental divergences are more complicated than originally thought. "Some scale-eaters start off with balanced mouths, and others do not. So, what happens as these symmetrical fish get older: do they develop asymmetries due to lateralized foraging behaviors? Do they develop asymmetries due to lateralized growth? Do they die because they are not effective hunters?" debates researcher Craig Albertson. He continues, "All three are possible, but we do not have data to support any one of these scenarios. It would seem, however, that in this group an innate, genetically-determined left/right difference has been accentuated to enable a bizarre predatory life style."


Contact: Graeme Baldwin
BioMed Central

Related biology news :

1. Rong Li Lab probes mechanism of asymmetry in meiotic cell division
2. Game of two halves leads to brain asymmetry
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Lopsided fish show that symmetry is only skin deep
(Date:11/20/2015)... 20, 2015 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... the growing mobile commerce market and creator of the ... , was recently interviewed on The RedChip Money ... this weekend on Bloomberg Europe , Bloomberg Asia, ... --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... Nov. 19, 2015  Based on its in-depth analysis ... recognizes BIO-key with the 2015 Global Frost & Sullivan ... & Sullivan presents this award to the company that ... the needs of the market it serves. The award ... and expands on customer base demands, the overall impact ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... 2015  Although some 350 companies are actively involved ... few companies, according to Kalorama Information. These include Roche Diagnostics, ... market share of the 6.1 billion-dollar molecular testing market, ... for Molecular Diagnostic s .    ... controlled by one company and only a handful of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... LOS ANGELES and HOLLISTON, Mass. ... Regenerative Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: HART ), a biotechnology ... announced that CEO Jim McGorry will present ... Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. PT. The ... (link below) for 30 days. Management will also be ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... DIEGO , Nov. 25, 2015 Orexigen® ... management will participate in a fireside chat discussion at ... New York . The discussion is scheduled ... .  A replay will be ... Media Contact:McDavid Stilwell  , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced ... Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green Section Award recognizes an individual’s ... , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is an extension specialist of turfgrass pathology ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Copper is an ... is bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. With a $1.3 ... Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper in the bacteria Pseudomonas ...
Breaking Biology Technology: