Jan 1, 1995

The ontogeny of aquatic feeding behavior in Salamandra salamandra: stereotypy and isometry in feeding kinematics

The Journal of Experimental Biology
S M Reilly

Abstract

To examine the extent to which aquatic prey-capture behavior in salamanders is stereotyped and how feeding kinematics scales with size, the ontogenetic variability of aquatic feeding behavior was examined in eight Salamandra salamandra. Feeding kinematics (seven duration and angular displacement variables), kinematic variance and capture performance were quantified and compared in the first several feedings after birth with a series of feedings 8 weeks later, just prior to metamorphosis. Analysis of variance revealed no statistically significant ontogenetic differences in the kinematic variables, and individual differences were found in only two variables (maximum gape angle and gape cycle time). A comparison of the relative kinematic variance within individuals revealed no significant differences in variance during ontogeny. In addition, capture success rate did not change. The strike is significantly faster than that of other salamanders. These results indicate that the initial prey-capture behavior remains unchanged throughout larval ontogeny. Thus, aquatic strike behavior in S. salamandra is developmentally fixed (innate) and does not appear to be influenced by learning or improvement in 'skill', supporting the hypothesis t...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Wandering Spleen
Kinematics
Ontogeny
Biological Metamorphosis
PYURF gene
Salamanders
Salamandra salamandra

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