Coevolution of the premaxillary ascending process and jaw protrusion in Lake Malawi cichlid fishes

By Hulsey, Darrin, C.E. Gorman

Hydrobiologia, epub 09-Aug-2022. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-022-04949-y

" Variation in jaw protrusion is critical to cichlid fish trophic diversification. For instance, jaw protrusion distance can influence suction, attack speed, as well as bite force, and jaw protrusion angle is associated with exploiting prey from different substrates. Interestingly, premaxillary ascending process length has been shown to influence the maximum distance some cichlid fishes protrude their oral jaws, but its relationship to jaw protrusion angle is unclear. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, morphometrics, and field measurements in Malawi cichlid species, we tested the relationship between the length of the premaxillary ascending process and two components of jaw protrusion. In Malawi, the premaxilla's ascending process length ranged from 6.9 to 15.2% with respect to standard length. Maximum jaw protrusion ranged from 1.4 to 9.1% of standard length and jaw protrusion angle varied from 17° to 76°. Although jaw protrusion angle was not associated with premaxillary ascending process length, phylogenetically adjusted correlations between the ascending process and maximum jaw protrusion distance were highly significant. Evolutionary change in the premaxilla is likely critical for determining the maximum distance, but not the angle, of Malawi cichlid jaw protrusion. Examinations of this type of potential phenotypic multi-functionality will continue to illuminate the mechanisms contributing to cichlid fish diversity "

Classification: Physiology and diseases, Lake Malawi.

Language: English

Name substitutions

Hulsey, Darrin & C.E. Gorman. 2022. "Coevolution of the premaxillary ascending process and jaw protrusion in Lake Malawi cichlid fishes". Hydrobiologia. epub. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-022-04949-y (crc12004) (abstract)