Brown University scientists have determined that instead of using cranial muscles for their suction feeding, ray-finned fish rely on their axial swimming muscles to capture their prey. Nathan Frandino reports.
The largemouth bass is no Jaws... but it still hunts its prey all the same. This ray-finned fish is under X-ray at Brown University. Scientists there determined that the bass gets a majority of its suction feeding power from its axial swimming muscles. The cranial muscles, meanwhile, contribute very little. The axial muscles link up with the intricate bones in the mouth that allow the fish to rapidly open its mouth and capture its prey. Scientists believe the results may explain the evolution of suction feeding for ray-finned fish, swimming and searching for its next big meal.