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1 April 2010 Diversification of Prey Capture Techniques Among the Piscivores in Lake Tana's (Ethiopia) Labeobarbus Species Flock (Cyprinidae)
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Abstract

Lake Tana harbours the only known intact species flock of large cyprinid fishes (15 Labeobarbus spp.). One of the most curious aspects of this species flock is the large number (8) of piscivorous species. Cyprinids are not well designed for piscivory (i.e. small slit-shaped pharyngeal cavity, lack of teeth in the oral jaws, lack of a stomach), which raises the question how well adapted these labeobarbs actually are to function as piscivores? In this study we analyse the kinematics of prey capture (by varied combinations of suction, swimming and jaw protrusion) among Lake Tana's piscivorous labeobarbs. Suction feeding kinematics were similar to values reported for other piscivorous fish species. A detailed analysis of several Labeobarbus species displayed distinct types of techniques (overswimming, velocity/volume suction with jaw protrusion) suited to capture elusive prey in different macro-habitats, Lake Tana's Labeobarbus species evolved a wide range of piscivorous predation techniques, a unique scenario for cyprinid fishes.

Martin de Graaf, Gerco H. van de Weerd, and Jan W.M. Osse "Diversification of Prey Capture Techniques Among the Piscivores in Lake Tana's (Ethiopia) Labeobarbus Species Flock (Cyprinidae)," African Zoology 45(1), (1 April 2010). https://doi.org/10.3377/004.045.0117
Received: 16 September 2009; Accepted: 31 October 2009; Published: 1 April 2010
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