Document Detail

The forces exerted by aquatic suction feeders on their prey.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17251163     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Successful prey capture by aquatic suction feeders depends on the ability of the predator to generate a flow of water external to the mouth that overcomes any movements and forces that the prey uses to resist the suction flow. Elucidating the nature and magnitude of these forces is a key to understanding what limits suction feeding performance. We identify three potential forces produced by the suction flow field: drag, acceleration reaction and the fluid pressure gradient. Using a mathematical model parametrized with empirical data from feeding bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus, we explore the relative magnitude of these forces under three encounter scenarios with a 5mm diameter, spherical prey: an immobile mid-water prey; a similar prey that executes an escape response; and a prey item that grips a substratum. Contrary to the almost exclusive emphasis on drag in the suction feeding literature, it made a minor contribution to the total forces in all three cases. In all three scenarios, the pressure gradient is the largest of the three forces. These results are important because previous researchers have emphasized drag and have not explicitly recognized a role for the pressure gradient force in suction feeding. The simulations suggest previously unrecognized mechanisms that suction feeders can use to enhance the forces that they exert, by increasing the steepness of the pressure gradient that the prey item is exposed to. This can be accomplished either by increasing the rate of increase in fluid velocity or by restricting the size of the mouth aperture, which creates a steeper spatial gradient in pressure.
Peter C Wainwright; Steven W Day
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society     Volume:  4     ISSN:  1742-5689     ISO Abbreviation:  J R Soc Interface     Publication Date:  2007 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-05-04     Completed Date:  2007-07-03     Revised Date:  2013-06-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101217269     Medline TA:  J R Soc Interface     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  553-60     Citation Subset:  IM    
Section of Evolution & Ecology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Body Size
Feeding Behavior / physiology
Marine Biology
Models, Biological
Perciformes / physiology*
Predatory Behavior / physiology*

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