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Feeding kinematics of the grotto salamander, Eurycea spelaea

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abstract
All larval salamanders that have been studied capture prey using inertial suction feeding, and the kinematics were at one time thought to be highly stereotypical. Many salamanders have been studied, but the life history of Eurycea spelaea, the grotto salamander, is unique among the troglobitic plethodontids. This cave salamander transforms at metamorphosis into a terrestrial adult, but the eyes recede and the adult is blind. The feeding behavior of larval E. spelaea was measured to determine stereotypy using high-speed videography and kinematic analysis, and then was compared across several taxa. The salamander feeds using the conserved aquatic feeding pattern with three observable stages: expansion, compression, and recovery. Like other inertial suction feeders, the prey item is brought into the buccal cavity using a strong hyoid depression that generates buccal expansion and therefore negative pressure within the buccal cavity. Four of thirteen kinematic variables were found to be stereotyped, and five more were slightly stereotypical based on a stereotyped to variable continuum. The length of the gape cycle of E. spelaea corroborates with earlier findings that the time of movements are directly proportional to linear body size. Future studies should include buccal pressure measurements and analysis of the feeding behavior of the transformed adult.
subject
Organism biology
kinematics
contributor
Grigsby, Melannie (author)
Ashley-Ross, Miriam (committee chair)
Weigl, Peter (committee member)
Conner, William (committee member)
date
2009-08-06T15:53:44Z (accessioned)
2010-06-18T18:58:18Z (accessioned)
2009-08-06T15:53:44Z (available)
2010-06-18T18:58:18Z (available)
2009-08-06T15:53:44Z (issued)
degree
Biology (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/14751 (uri)
language
en_US (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
rights
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide. (accessRights)
title
Feeding kinematics of the grotto salamander, Eurycea spelaea
type
Thesis

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