Ontogenetic changes in the sequencing, kinematics and sensory control of zebrafish feeding maneuvers
Donald M. O'Malley
Frederick Charles Davis, Richard L. Marsh, Joseph Ayers, Windsor Watson
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Department or Academic Unit
College of Arts and Sciences. Department of Biology.
biology, behavior, feeding maneuvers, kinematics, lateral line, teleost, zebrafish
Zebra danio - Food, Zebra danio - Development, Predation (Biology)
Animal Sciences | Biology
Successful feeding is a ubiquitous requirement of all animals. In many larval fishes feeding involves orienting towards and capturing motile prey items. Early larval zebrafish prey capture has previously been described. Here, we identify changes to this behavior throughout ontogeny. The individual tracking maneuvers present in early larval fish seem to be fused with the final strike to form a single, fluid maneuver in juvenile and adult zebrafish. Coincident with this behavioral streamlining, drastic changes in peak velocity, tail beat frequency and other kinematic variables are occurring. Teleost feeding requires finely tuned sensory systems that are capable of guiding the course of motor output. Although species-specific sensory specializations may occur, a multimodal sensory control scheme for feeding would allow for adaptation to changes in local conditions (turbidity, foliage cover, planktonic abundance) that may diminish the efficacy of any single sensory system. Additionally, flexibility would be important during periods of rapid larval growth, when existing sensory systems are being modified and body form (shape, fins) is changing. Our finding that both visual and lateral line sensory systems play a role in the guidance of the zebrafish feeding episode is consistent with this hypothesis. High speed imaging (500 frames per second) and frame-by-frame analysis of the sequencing and feeding kinematics has been used to dissect the feeding episodes. Analysis was performed at each ontogenetic stage (early larval, late larval, juvenile and adult) and under different environmental conditions (lateral line lesion, darkness). Data presented here, document dramatic changes in the sequencing and kinematics of zebrafish prey capture maneuvers throughout ontogeny and shed light on the relative importance of the visual and lateral line sensory systems.
Rebecca Elizabeth Westphal
Westphal, Rebecca Elizabeth, "Ontogenetic changes in the sequencing, kinematics and sensory control of zebrafish feeding episodes" (2011). Biology Dissertations. Paper 20. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20001145
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