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Functional morphology of digestion in the stomachless, piscivorous needlefishes Tylosurus gavialoides and Strongylura leiura ferox (Teleostei: Beloniformes)

Citation

Manjakasy, JM and Day, RD and Kemp, A and Tibbetts, IR, Functional morphology of digestion in the stomachless, piscivorous needlefishes Tylosurus gavialoides and Strongylura leiura ferox (Teleostei: Beloniformes), Journal of Morphology, 270, (10) pp. 1155-1165. ISSN 0362-2525 (2009) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2000 WILEY-LISS, INC.

DOI: doi:10.1002/jmor.10745

Abstract

Belonidae are unusual in that they are carnivorous but lack a stomach and have a straight, short gut. To develop a functional morphological model for this unusual system the gut contents and alimentary tract morphology of Tylosurus gavialoides and Strongylura leiura ferox were investigated. The posterior orientation of the majority of the pharyngeal teeth supports the swallowing of whole large prey, but not their mastication. Mucogenic cells are abundant in the mucosa lining, particularly the esophagus, and their secretions are likely to protect the gut lining from damage while lubricating passage of the prey. Esophagus, anterior intestine, posterior intestine, and rectum all have highly reticulate mucosae. The anterior three gut sections are distensible to accommodate the passage of prey. However, following ingestion large prey are passed to the highly distensible posterior intestine where they rest head first against the ileorectal valve. Alimentary pH ranges from neutral to weakly acidic. Fish prey is digested head first with the head being largely digested while the remainder of the body is still intact. The nondistensibility of the rectum and the small aperture provided by the ileorectal valve suggest the products of intestinal digestion are either small particulates or fluids that pass into rectum where they are absorbed.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:stomach, carnivory, digestion, gut morphology, pharyngeal jaw apparatus
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Animal Structure and Function
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Author:Day, RD (Dr Ryan Day)
ID Code:95702
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2014-10-07
Last Modified:2014-11-05
Downloads:0

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