Navigation Links
Fish researcher demonstrates first 'non-visual feeding' by African cichlids
Date:4/13/2009

KINGSTON, R.I. April 14, 2009 Most fish rely primarily on their vision to find prey to feed upon, but a University of Rhode Island biologist and her colleagues have demonstrated that a group of African cichlids feeds by using its lateral line sensory system to detect minute vibrations made by prey hidden in the sediments.

The lateral line system is composed of a canal embedded in the scales along the side of the body of a fish, around its eyes and on its lower jaw, which contain small groups of sensory hair cells that respond to water flow. The lateral line system aids some fish in swimming upstream, navigation around obstacles, and the detection of predators and prey.

According to Jacqueline Webb, a URI professor of biology, cichlids in the genus Aulonocara, which only live in Lake Malawi, have widened lateral line canals that are highly sensitive to vibrations and water flows. They feed by gliding through the water with their chin close to the sand like a metal detector, seeking out twitching arthropods and other unseen prey items.

There are about 16 species of Aulonocara cichlids in Lake Malawi, all of which feed in the sand.

"These cichlids join a short list of fish that have been demonstrated to use their lateral line system to feed," said Webb. "Since most of the fish with widened lateral line canals are found in the deep sea, it's difficult to study them. These cichlids can now be used as a model system for studying widened canals, and we can apply what we learn from them to the fish in the deep sea."

Webb analyzed video of the swimming behavior of the fish in response to live and dead brine shrimp located on the surface of the sandy substrate in a tank. She compared the fishes' ability to detect prey under light and dark conditions, and looked at their ability to detect prey when the lateral line system was chemically "deactivated."

She found that the fish were able to find live prey easily, even in darkness, but not without a healthy lateral line system.

Her discovery opens the door to the study of the convergent evolution of wide canals and raises the question of whether fish that feed non-visually have an ecological advantage over visual-only feeders. Webb was recently awarded a $334,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the development and behavioral role of wide lateral lines.

"We also hope that this work will allow us to determine whether the sensory biology of a species can be used to predict its ecological success," she said, "especially in environments where the water quality is poor or where there is increased turbidity. Do these fish have an advantage in water where it is difficult to see well?"

To examine these questions, Webb will use microCT imaging to create a three-dimensional reconstruction of the skulls of cichlids, while also developing what she calls a "chin tickler" an artificial stimulation delivery system to standardize the stimulation provided from beneath the sand to the cichlid test subjects.


'/>"/>

Contact: Todd McLeish
tmcleish@uri.edu
401-874-7892
University of Rhode Island
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Ex-White House Drug Czar McCaffrey, U.S. Congress Drug Caucus Chair Cummings, CRC Health CEO Karlin Join Hopkins Researchers at News Conference April 17 on Breakthrough Study: Internet Video Drug Treatment as Effective as Traditional Counseling
2. Mount Sinai researchers discover novel mechanisms that might causally link type-2 diabetes to Alzheimers disease
3. Pitt, Berkeley researchers reconstruct seashells to model nervous system function
4. N. California Researchers Testing Whether Marijuana Chemical Can Slow Cancer Growth, With Funding by Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R)
5. Researchers find promotion is bad for mental health and stops your visiting the doctor
6. Mayo researchers discover mechanism of cell type-specific signaling in tumor development
7. Researchers Profile the Light Smoker
8. Alarming Rise in Autism Brings Hundreds of Parents, Researchers and Clinicians Together from Around the World to Atlanta April 17-19, 2009
9. PhRMA Honors Gardasil(r) Researchers With Discoverers Award
10. Researchers identify personality traits
11. JHU researcher discovers brain cells have memory
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... TransactRx announces the release of ... medical service claims by Pharmacy Benefit Managers that were submitted by Retail Clinics ... TransactRx Cross Benefit Clearinghouse receives standard professional medical claims submitted from the retail ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... FRANCISCO, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... School of Nursing and Health Professions. She will lead a team of more than ... Team. Baker will begin her role as dean in late August. , Baker comes ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... Laser ... to help turn back the hands of time of female aging. The ... childbirth. Women with symptoms such as leakage, laxity, itchiness and pain have reported ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... Researchers ... 2016 Annual COVD Meeting for their work on visual evoked potential and human attention. ... recent studies that used the Diopsys® NOVA™ ERG and VEP Vision Testing System ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... HealthPostures ... will join America's leading engineers at the American Society of Safety Engineers Conference ... Congress Center. , Engineers, speakers and exhibitors from more than 40 countries ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Niederländische Chirurgen ... die es Ärzten erlaubt, ihre Expertise weltweit zu ... kombiniert Live Streaming mit einer Instant-Messaging-Funktion und der ... Mediziner in Europa, Afrika, Asien und den ... die Plattform registriert. Information und Weiterbildung   ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... 2016  Diana Russell suffers from a form of ... inside out.  This disease has put her in a ... and grandchildren to leave her home.  Because of the ... haul the wheelchair.  So if there is a family ... is left to wait for the bus. ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Marziani has joined VMS BioMarketing as senior vice president of sales, announced Andrea ... Marziani will lead the company,s business development and sales team, exploring new opportunities for ... - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160523/371089 ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: