Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 73, Issue 4, pp 453–462

Aerial and aquatic feeding in the silver arawana, Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

Authors

    • Department of BiologyUniversity of South Florida
  • Alpa P. Wintzer
    • Department of BiologyUniversity of South Florida
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Michael P. Matott
    • Department of BiologyUniversity of South Florida
    • Eckerd CollegeNatural Sciences Collegium
  • Lisa B. Whitenack
    • Department of BiologyUniversity of South Florida
  • Daniel R. Huber
    • Department of BiologyUniversity of South Florida
  • Mason Dean
    • Department of BiologyUniversity of South Florida
    • Ecological and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of California
  • Philip J. Motta
    • Department of BiologyUniversity of South Florida
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10641-005-3214-4

Cite this article as:
Lowry, D., Wintzer, A.P., Matott, M.P. et al. Environ Biol Fish (2005) 73: 453. doi:10.1007/s10641-005-3214-4
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Synopsis

The silver arawana, Osteoglossum bicirrhosum, hunts along shorelines and within flooded forests in the Amazon River basin and supplements its limited consumption of aquatic vertebrates by leaping from the water to obtain terrestrial and arboreal prey. We offered O. bicirrhosum prey both suspended above and submerged below the surface of the water. From high-speed digital recordings, we measured kinematic variables associated with the jaws, cranium, pectoral fins, and body during orientation and prey capture. Aquatic and aerial feeding events were kinematically distinct, with aerial events generally involving faster, larger movements and a distinct delay in the onset of lower jaw depression until the head had left the water. The comparatively large gape during leaping may facilitate prey capture by overcoming variability in the apparent position of the prey due to refraction, while the delayed onset of mouth opening may serve to reduce the effects of drag. This distinctive leaping behaviour allows exploitation of the terrestrial prey base, especially during seasonal inundation of the Amazon River basin when the aquatic food base is widely dispersed.

Keywords

leapingkinematicsOsteoglossomorphafeeding behaviourfeeding ecology

Copyright information

© Springer 2005