Feeding Performance of King Mackerel, Scomberomorus Cavalla

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Feeding performance is an organism's ability to capture and handle prey. Although bite force is a commonly used metric of feeding performance, other factors such as bite pressure and strike speed are also likely to affect prey capture. Therefore, this study investigated static bite force, dynamic speeds, and predator and prey forces resulting from ram strikes, as well as bite pressure of the king mackerel, Scomberomorus cavalla, in order to examine their relative contributions to overall feeding performance. Theoretical posterior bite force ranged from 14.0–318.7 N. Ram speed, recorded with a rod and reel incorporated with a line counter and video camera, ranged from 3.3–15.8B L/s. Impact forces on the prey ranged from 0.1–1.9 N. Bite pressure, estimated using theoretical bite forces at three gape angles and tooth cross-sectional areas, ranged from 1.7–56.9 MPa. Mass-specific bite force for king mackerel is relatively low in comparison with other bony fishes and sharks, with relatively little impact force applied to the prey during the strike. This suggests that king mackerel rely on high velocity chases and high bite pressure generated via sharp, laterally compressed teeth to maximize feeding performance. J. Exp. Zool. 323A: 399–413, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology, v. 323, issue 7, p. 399-413