Jan 1, 1997

Modulation of prey-capture behavior in the plethodontid salamander Ensatina eschscholtzii

The Journal of Experimental Biology
S M Deban

Abstract

The hypothesis that salamander prey-capture behavior is highly stereotyped was tested in the plethodontid salamander Ensatina eschscholtzii using high-speed videography and kinematic analysis of feedings on two types of prey (waxworms and termites). The results show that E. eschscholtzii is capable of modulating the timing and magnitude of tongue and jaw movements in response to prey type. Feedings on waxworms, the larger prey, were characterized by shorter durations and higher velocities of tongue and jaw movements compared with feedings on termites, particularly in the latter portion of the feeding sequence (i.e. after prey contact). To test the hypothesis that sensory feedback through the tongue pad plays a role in modulating feeding movements in response to prey type, the ramus lingualis of the glossopharyngeal nerve (cranial nerve IX), which is known to carry sensory information from the tongue pad in salamanders, was transected bilaterally. This experimental deafferentation of the tongue pad had no effect on the degree or direction of differences in feeding kinematics across prey type. These results refute the glossopharyngeal feedback hypothesis, but are consistent with the hypothesis that E. eschscholtzii responds more ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Entire Glossopharyngeal Nerve
PIGY
Tongue Diseases
Ramus Intermedius Artery
Kinematics
Branch of plant
Isoptera
Benign Neoplasm of Tongue
Sensory Denervation Disorder
Ensatina eschscholtzii

About this Paper

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