The effects of temperature on prey capture kinematics were investigated in the Largemouth Bass, Micropterus salmoides. Five individuals were first acclimated to 22 C and then acutely exposed to temperatures of 15, 20, 25, and 30 C. At each temperature, feeding events were recorded using high-speed video at 500 frames s−1. An analysis of variance on the five fastest feeding events from each individual at each temperature resulted in a significant trend for the fastest feeding events to occur at 25 C. This effect confirmed the expectation of thermal dependence of mouth opening movements, which was based on an inverse relationship between water viscosity and temperature and the assumption that temperatures outside optimum decrease muscular power and contraction rates. However, the Q10 value between 15–25 C was only 1.28, well below the minimum expected value of 2.0. Thus, we suggest the possibility that Largemouth Bass partially compensate for the effects of acute temperature changes by recruiting additional motor units at lower temperatures. The capacity of Largemouth Bass to mitigate the impact of acute temperature change on muscle physiology and the physical properties of water may represent a physiological adaptation to a predatory lifestyle in a thermally variable environment.
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Vol. 2006 • No. 3