Image of the Day: Warp Speed
Image of the Day: Warp Speed

Image of the Day: Warp Speed

Snipefish use a recoil mechanism to feed rapidly.

Sukanya Charuchandra
Sukanya Charuchandra

Originally from Mumbai, Sukanya Charuchandra is a freelance science writer based out of wherever her travels take her. She holds master’s degrees in Science Journalism and Biotechnology. You can read...

View full profile.

Learn about our editorial policies.

Jul 5, 2018
This video, 66 times slower than real life, shows a snipefish (Macroramphosus scolopax) feeding strike. 

ABOVE: Half the head of a snipefish (Macroramphosus scolopax) has been digitally dissected in this micro-CT scan reconstruction to reveal the internal structures. SARAH J. LONGO

Snipefish (Macroramphosus scolopax), like their seahorse relatives, employ a spring mechanism for feeding, according to research published yesterday (July 4) in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. The fish speedily rotate their trumpet-like snouts using stored elastic energy and suck prey into their distended mouths in 2 ms. The researchers used high-speed videos that were slowed down to observe the feeding strike motion.

S.J. Longo et al., “Extremely fast feeding strikes are powered by elastic recoil in a seahorse relative, the snipefish, Macroramphosus scolopax,” Proc R Soc B, doi:10.1098/rspb.2018.1078, 2018.

This is an animated...

Interested in reading more?

The Scientist ARCHIVES

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?