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Day S.W.,Rochester Institute of Technology | Higham T.E.,University of California at Riverside | Holzman R.,Tel Aviv University | Holzman R.,Inter University Institute for Marine science | And 2 more authors.
Integrative and Comparative Biology | Year: 2015

Suction feeding is pervasive among aquatic vertebrates, and our understanding of the functional morphology and biomechanics of suction feeding has recently been advanced by combining experimental and modeling approaches. Key advances include the visualization of the patterns of flow in front of the mouth of a feeding fish, the measurement of pressure inside their mouth cavity, and the employment of analytical and computational models. Here, we review the key components of the morphology and kinematics of the suction-feeding system of anatomically generalized, adult ray-finned fishes, followed by an overview of the hydrodynamics involved. In the suction-feeding apparatus, a strong mechanistic link among morphology, kinematics, and the capture of prey is manifested through the hydrodynamic interactions between the suction flows and solid surfaces (the mouth cavity and the prey). It is therefore a powerful experimental system in which the ecology and evolution of the capture of prey can be studied based on first principals. © 2015 The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com. Source

Steinbuck J.V.,Stanford University | Genin A.,Inter University Institute for Marine science | Monismith S.G.,Stanford University | Koseff J.R.,Stanford University | And 2 more authors.
Continental Shelf Research | Year: 2010

Turbulence measurements in fine-scale phytoplankton layers (∼1 to ∼10 m) in the Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea) were used to evaluate mechanisms of layer formation, maintenance, and breakdown. Simultaneous profiles of chlorophyll a (Chl a) fluorescence and temperature microstructure were measured in the upper 40 m of a 430 m water column over a 16-d period, using a Self Contained Autonomous MicroProfiler (SCAMP). Layers of concentrated phytoplankton were identified in 95 of the 456 profiles. The layers were situated in density stratified regions between 15 and 38 m depth and were characterized by intensities of 0.1 to 0.35 μg Chl a L-1 (as much as two times background concentrations) and an average thickness of 10 m. We show that turbulent mixing and isopycnal displacements associated with internal waves modulated the thickness of the layers. Variations in mixing rates within layers were connected to the vertical structure of the stratified turbulence and the stage of layer development. The breakdown of a persistent phytoplankton layer was tied to strong turbulent mixing at the base of the surface mixed layer, which encroached on the layer from above. Hydrographic observations and scaling analysis suggest that the layers most likely formed in horizontal intrusions from the adjacent coastal region. The cross-shore propagation of phytoplankton-rich intrusions may have important implications for the trophic state of offshore planktonic communities. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Carlson D.F.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Carlson D.F.,Inter University Institute for Marine science | Fredj E.,Jerusalem College of Technology | Gildor H.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers | Year: 2014

The stratification in the Northern Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba follows a well-known annual cycle of well-mixed conditions in winter, surface warming in spring and summer, maximum vertical temperature gradient in late summer, and erosion of stratification in fall. The strength and structure of the stratification influences the diverse coral reef ecosystem and also affects the strength of the semi-diurnal tidal currents. Long-term (13 months) moored thermistor data, combined with high temporal and vertical resolution density profiles in deep water, show that transitions from summer to fall and winter to spring/summer occur in unpredictable, pulses and are not slow and gradual, as previously deduced from monthly hydrographic measurements and numerical simulations forced by monthly climatologies. The cooling and deepening of the surface layer in fall is marked by a transition to large amplitude, semi-diurnal isotherm displacements in the stratified intermediate layer. Stratification is rebuilt in spring and summer by intermittent pulses of warm, buoyant water that can increase the upper 100-150. m by 2. °C that force surface waters down 100-150. m over a matter of days. The stratification also varies in response to short-lived eddies and diurnal motions during winter. Thus, the variability in the stratification exhibits strong depth and seasonal dependence and occurs over range of timescales: from tidal to seasonal. We show that monthly or weekly single-cast hydrographic data under-samples the variability of the stratification in the Gulf and we estimate the error associated with single-cast assessments of the stratification. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Holzman R.,Tel Aviv University | Holzman R.,Inter University Institute for Marine science | Perkol-Finkel S.,Tel Aviv University | Zilman G.,Tel Aviv University
Journal of Experimental Biology | Year: 2014

Fish commonly use their lateral line system to detect moving bodies such as prey and predators. A remarkable case is the Mexican blind cavefish Astyanax fasciatus, which evolved the ability to detect non-moving obstacles. The swimming body of A. fasciatus generates fluid disturbances, the alteration of which by an obstacle can be sensed by the fish's lateral line system. It is generally accepted that these alterations can provide information on the distance to the obstacle. We observed that A. fasciatus swimming in an unfamiliar environment open and close their mouths at high frequency (0.7-4.5 Hz) in order to generate suction flows. We hypothesized that repeated mouth suction generates a hydrodynamic velocity field, which is altered by an obstacle, inducing pressure gradients in the neuromasts of the lateral line and corresponding strong lateral line stimuli. We observed that the frequency and rate of mouth-opening events varied with the fish's distance to obstacles, a hallmark of pulse-based navigation mechanisms such as echolocation. We formulated a mathematical model of this hitherto unrecognized mechanism of obstacle detection and parameterized it experimentally. This model suggests that suction flows induce lateral line stimuli that are weakly dependent on the fish's speed, and may be an order of magnitude stronger than the correspondent stimuli induced by the fish's gliding body. We illustrate that A. fasciatus can navigate non-visually using a combination of two deeply ancestral and highly conserved mechanisms of ray-finned fishes: the mechanism of sensing water motion by the lateral line system and the mechanism of generating water motion by mouth suction. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Source

Yaniv S.,Tel Aviv University | Yaniv S.,Afeka Academic College of Engineering | Elad D.,Tel Aviv University | Holzman R.,Inter University Institute for Marine science
Journal of Experimental Biology | Year: 2014

Suction feeding is thought to be the primary mode of prey capture in most larval fishes. Similar to adult suction feeders, larvae swim towards their prey while rapidly expanding their mouth cavity to generate an inward flow of water that draws the prey into the mouth. Although larvae are known to experience flows with lower Reynolds numbers than adults, it is unclear how the suction-induced flow field changes throughout ontogeny, and how such changes relate to prey capture performance. To address these questions, we determined mouth dimensions and opening speeds in Sparus aurata from firstfeeding larvae to adults. We proceeded to develop a computational model of mouth expansion in order to analyze the scaling of suction flows under the observed parameters. Larval fish produced suction flows that were around two orders of magnitude slower than those of adults. Compared with adult fish, in which flow speed decays steeply with distance in front of the mouth, flow speed decayed more gradually in larval fish. This difference indicates that viscous forces in low Reynolds number flows modify the spatial distribution flow speed in front of the mouth. Consequently, simulated predator-prey encounters showed that larval fish could capture inert prey from a greater distance compared with adults. However, if prey attempted to escape then larval fish performed poorly: simulations inferred capture success in only weakly escaping prey immediately in front of the mouth. These ontogenetic changes in Reynolds number, suctioninduced flow field and feeding performance could explain a widespread ontogenetic diet shift from passive prey at early life stages to evasive prey as larvae mature. ©2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Source

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