Navigation Links
Salmon and other fish predators rely on 'no guts, no glory' survival tactic
Date:9/15/2011

The phrase "no guts, no glory" doesn't just apply to athletes who are striving to excel.

Salmon and other fish predators take the adage literally, by having up to three times the "gut" capacity they need on a daily basis just so they can "glory" when prey is abundant, University of Washington researchers have discovered.

It's a previously unrecognized survival tactic that might apply to other top predators, such as wolves, lions and bears, according to Jonathan Armstrong, a UW doctoral student in aquatic and fishery sciences and lead author of a letter published recently in the journal Nature.

"The predatory fish we examined have the guts to consume two- to three-times the amount of food that they regularly encounter. This much excess capacity suggests predator-prey encounters are far patchier or random than assumed in biology and that binge-feeding enables predators to survive despite regular periods of famine," Armstrong said. Co-author on the paper is Daniel Schindler, UW professor of aquatic and fishery sciences.

"Guts are really expensive organs in terms of metabolism," Armstrong said. For instance, maintaining a gut can require 30 to 40 percent of the blood pumped by an animal's heart.

Some animals have some capacity to grow or shrink their guts in response to changing conditions. For example, the digestive organs of birds that are about to migrate expand so they can eat more and fatten up. This is followed by a period when their guts atrophy and then, freed of the baggage of heavy guts, the birds take off.

That and results from lab studies led some scientists to assume that predators eliminate excess digestive capacity to save energy in times of famine. But the UW findings show that many fish species maintain a huge gut, which enables them to capitalize on unpredictable pulses of food.

"For predator fish, the world is a slot machine sometimes they stumble upon small meals and other times they hit the jackpot. It's just not as predictable as some have thought," Armstrong said.

"Unlike some other animals, fish can't just hoard their food behind a rock in the stream and eat it later. They need to binge during the good times so that they can grow and build energy reserves to survive the bad times."

Armstrong and Schindler hope that their results can help with ecological models used in conservation and management.

"Ecosystem models typically assume relatively constant interactions between predator and prey but our results suggest such interactions are extremely patchy. We're excited to see if including this ecological realism might improve the predictions of these models."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sandra Hines
shines@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Similar survival rates for Pacific salmon in Fraser, Columbia Rivers raises new questions
2. Research challenges conventional notions about salmon survival
3. Scientists achieve first tracking of salmon from headwaters in Rockies through Pacific to Alaska
4. Salmon smolt survival similar in Columbia and Fraser rivers
5. UBC study establishes formula for predicting climate change impact on salmon stocks
6. No place like home: New theory for how salmon, sea turtles find their birthplace
7. Transporting juvenile salmon hinders adult migration
8. The medium is the message: Manipulating salmonella in spaceflight curtails infectiousness
9. Invasives threaten salmon in Pacific Northwest
10. Yale researchers uncover secrets of salmonellas stealth attack
11. Hatchery fish may hurt efforts to sustain wild salmon runs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Salmon and other fish predators rely on 'no guts, no glory' survival tactic
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017 The research team of ... three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae ... realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, ... cost. ... A research ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 2017  higi, the health IT company that operates ... America , today announced a Series B investment ... EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy ... transform population health activities through the collection and workflow ... higi collects and secures data today on behalf of ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 09, ... ... published on October 5, 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s ... the gold standard, video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... Hi-C-based genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the ... and accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... The HealthTech Venture Network (HTVN) ... their fourth annual Conference where founders, investors, innovative practitioners and collaborators are invited ... competition showcasing early stage digital health and med tech companies. , This day-long ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ... 05, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider of educational and ... giving back to cancer research with a month-long promotion supporting the advancement of breast ... shoppers can use promo code PinkRibbon to get 10 percent off their purchase of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: