Collaborators: Matthew G. McGee; Samuel R. Borstein; Peter C. Wainwright
In modern bony fishes, a major axis of feeding diversity concerns a trade-off between force application and the speed at which the jaw can open and expand. This research project seeks to evaluate the evolution of feeding motions in a diverse assemblage of African cichlids from lakes Malawi and Tanganyika, where species vary in feeding apparatus morphologies and diets. We are using geometric morphometrics to compare cranial/jaw shapes with patterns of kinesis produced during suction feeding strikes (Fig. 1). Preliminary results suggest that a common axis of cranial morphology is related to the magnitude of kinesis produced, the kinematic efficiency of strikes, and the evasiveness of the fish’s primary dietary item.
UC Davis Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship (UCD)