Does the cylinder model of gastric evacuation predict observed evacuation of mixed meals of prey of contrasting geometries in a piscivorous fish?

Authors

  • J. D. Karlsen,

    1. Technical University of Denmark, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, North Sea Science Park, P. O. Box 101, DK-9850 Hirtshals, Denmark
    2. Aarhus University, Department of Biological Sciences, Marine Ecology, Building 1135, Ole Worms Allé 1, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
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  • N. G. Andersen

    Corresponding author
    1. Technical University of Denmark, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, North Sea Science Park, P. O. Box 101, DK-9850 Hirtshals, Denmark
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Tel.: +45 35 88 32 14; email: nga@aqua.dtu.dk

Abstract

The simple surface abstraction of the cylinder model (each prey as well as the total stomach contents is considered a cylinder that is gradually reduced by successive peeling off its curved side) was challenged by data on evacuation of a meal composed of three sandeels Ammodytes tobianus and a dab Limanda limanda fed to Atlantic cod Gadus morhua. While the body shape of A. tobianus comes close to that of a cylinder, the flatfish L. limanda takes a discoid form. As opposed to a modified form of the cylinder model, where the contrasting geometries of the fish prey were implemented, the simple, original cylinder model held the potential to predict evacuation of the individual prey types as well as the total stomach contents. Thus, the present study adds significantly to the increasing evidence that points to the generic nature of the model and its implicit square root function. Also, the present study corroborated a basic assumption that the variability of evacuation data not accounted for by the cylinder model primarily can be ascribed to the intraspecific variation in gastric performance of the predator.

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