Image of the Day: Catfished
Image of the Day: Catfished

Image of the Day: Catfished

The skull bones of a catfish move in coordination when capturing prey.

Apr 24, 2019
Chia-Yi Hou

ABOVE: A model of a catfish skull with each skull bone highlighted in a different color
BRAINERD LAB/BROWN UNIVERSITY

Catfish use complex coordination of the musculoskeletal system to capture prey, scientists reported April 17 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences. The authors used an X-ray imaging system to compare the movements during prey capture and swallowing. The catfish’s skull bones were more coordinated for the prey capture phase and operated more independently when moving the prey within its mouth. 

A.M. Olsen et al., “Channel catfish use higher coordination to capture prey than to swallow,”P Roy Soc B-Biol Sci, doi:10.1098/rspb.2019.0507, 2019.

A catfish catching and swallowing an earthworm
BRAINERD LAB/BROWN UNIVERSITY
Movement of various skull bones during prey capture (left) and prey transport or swallowing (right)
BRAINERD LAB/BROWN UNIVERSITY