Document Detail

Comparative feeding kinematics and performance of odontocetes: belugas, Pacific white-sided dolphins and long-finned pilot whales.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19946072     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Cetaceans are thought to display a diversity of feeding modes that are often described as convergent with other more basal aquatic vertebrates (i.e. actinopterygians). However, the biomechanics of feeding in cetaceans has been relatively ignored by functional biologists. This study investigated the feeding behavior, kinematics and pressure generation of three odontocetes with varying feeding modes (belugas, Delphinapterus leucas; Pacific white-sided dolphins, Lagenorhynchus obliquidens; and long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas). Four feeding phases were recognized in all odontocetes: (I) preparatory, (II) jaw opening, (III) gular depression, and (IV) jaw closing. Belugas relied on a feeding mode that was composed of discrete ram and suction components. Pacific white-sided dolphins fed using ram, with some suction for compensation or manipulation of prey. Pilot whales were kinematically similar to belugas but relied on a combination of ram and suction that was less discrete than belugas. Belugas were able to purse the anterior lips to occlude lateral gape and form a small, circular anterior aperture that is convergent with feeding behaviors observed in more basal vertebrates. Suction generation in odontocetes is a function of hyolingual displacement and rapid jaw opening, and is likely to be significantly enhanced by lip pursing behaviors. Some degree of subambient pressure was measured in all species, with belugas reaching 126 kPa. Functional variations of suction generation during feeding demonstrate a wider diversity of feeding behaviors in odontocetes than previously thought. However, odontocete suction generation is convergent with that of more basal aquatic vertebrates.
E A Kane; C D Marshall
Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  212     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2009 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-11-30     Completed Date:  2010-02-03     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3939-50     Citation Subset:  IM    
Texas A&M University, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Science, College Station, TX 77843, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Beluga Whale / physiology*
Dolphins / physiology*
Feeding Behavior / physiology*
Fin Whale / physiology*
Pacific Ocean
Time Factors
Video Recording

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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