David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Acta Biotheoretica 34 (2-4):219-232 (1985)
A comparison of nineteen taxa of teleost fishes suggests the gradual acquisition of systems of upper jaw protrusion in the course of fish evolution. However, in view of the loss of protrusion in several groups of advanced teleosts the biomechanicsof protrusile jaws are analysed based on the hydrodynamics of suction feeding. Calculations show that protrusion may reduce the energy otherwise spent in a feeding act to get the predator's mouth as near to the prey in the same time with about 80%. Other generalized advantages and disadvantages of upper jaw protrusion are explained. Detailed ecological data to calculate the balance between pros and cons of jaw protrusion of a particular species in its habitat are still lacking. There is no incompatibility between presence and disappearance of protrusile jaws in fish and current neo-darwinistic theories of evolution.
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