Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ICB manuscript accepted!

Look for my manuscript in Integrative and Comparative Biology soon (Update 5/15/15: it's out now here!  This is a compliment to what I presented at SICB in West Palm Beach at the symposium "New Insights into Suction Feeding Biomechanics and Evolution" organized by my PhD advisor, Tim Higham, and his PhD advisor, Peter Wainwright.

What are our predictions of how an "integration space"
explains fish diversity?  Read the paper to find out!

In summary, we were interested in increasing awareness and providing methods and a context for thinking about complex behaviors and how multiple functional systems can be coordinated and integrated when they work together to accomplish a common task.  We use prey capture in fishes as the common task involving both locomotor and feeding functional systems as an example of this idea because of the extensive background on each system in this group.  We aim to do 4 things in this paper: 1) discuss complexity and integration and what they mean to biomechanics, 2) discuss the importance of integration for understanding patterns of diversity (here we hypothesize the integration space above), 3) provide empirical demonstrations of integration using a meta-analysis of ram and gape from several species found in the literature as well as a multivariate re-analysis of previously published sculpin data, and 4) discuss how this approach adds novel insights into organism function and diversity as well as outline future questions related to these ideas. We hope this work can be used to drive the future of study on complex functional behaviors, and that future work on fish feeding acknowledges the potentially significant role that other systems, such as locomotion, can play in diversification patterns.

For fun, here are some videos of black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) capturing two prey types.  Notice the very interesting locomotor strategy of crappie when capturing evasive fish prey - a roll behavior, coupled with a slow stalk and quick burst of acceleration.

This is not observed when capturing other types of prey such as frozen bloodworms.

Interesting examples of the importance of locomotion during prey capture!

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